Home > Teaching Kids to Compose with Maia Hamann

Teaching Kids to Compose with Maia Hamann

In this episode, I talk with my girlfriend, Maia Hamann, about how she teaches her young students to compose music. She explains her strategy of breaking music down into individual elements, something all composers could benefit from. Maia also shares tips on composing for bassoon. And we get to hear about her unique experience studying Somali music.

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Right click to download Ep. 10, or open in iTunes.

Maia also blogs about her stories and strategies on teaching. Check out maiable.wordpress.com.

Episode Playlist

  • 1:03 – Antonio Vivaldi – “Concerto in C major: III. Allegro” – Maia Hamann and Leah Siltberg (2007)
  • 2:09 – Carl Maria von Weber – “Andante e Rondo Ungarese” – Maia Hamann and Leah Siltberg (2007)
  • 26:23 – “The Lingerer” – Charlie McCarron feat. Maia Hamann (2012)
  • 27:58 – Alvin Etler – “Sonata: II. Fast” – Maia Hamann and Leah Siltberg (2007)
  • 30:30 – “Sida Hogasha Roobka” – Performed by Maia Hamann (2013)
  • 33:42 – “Evil Adventures” – Joe Sacksteder, Performed by Maia Hamann (2005)
  • All other compositions by students of KMS Elementary and High School.

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  1. John Evans says:

    Thank you for this enlightening and uplifting talk! I’ve been thinking about melody recently, melody as a concept and how to analyze it. At times, I feel I’ve reached the dead end conclusion that melody is nothing but a byproduct, a mere phenomenon, of rhythm and harmony. Yet, the melody is something that I believe, or should I say, I *feel* should be primary. I like the idea of storytelling and the fearless, childlike approach.

    • Charlie McCarron

      Hey John, thanks for checking out the episode! I definitely have been (and often still am) stuck in thinking of melodies in very boxy ways from my theory knowledge. I agree that it was great to hear Maia’s students approaching composition in a simple, creative way.

  2. Sakari D. says:

    Thanks for the episode! I am a music teacher in addition to being a violist and composer, and I’ve been wanting to incorporate some composition into my private lessons for ages. I think there are some great pointers here, especially the idea of breaking down the elements for students like you would in using a coloring book.

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