Composing in schools
For children, as for anyone, composing is grounded in their own biographies and musical experiences. We have to recognise that music in school is only the smallest part of this. When we look at teaching and learning in composition, in the school setting, we have to see how it contributes to a much bigger picture beyond. It is no good imagining that school is the starting point, or even that it is the main source, of musical experience. The encounters children have through music in school are a piece only of a much wider whole. This does not mean, of course, that these encounters are unimportant. Indeed, school may be the one place where children find encouragement to make their own music. And schools can be central in giving children the tools, understanding and wider vision that allows their composing to reach beyond anything previously imagined.