Once the Scribing process begins, the class divides into three rotating groups. One group works one-on-one with their Teaching Artist in the Computer Music Center, a second group does group exercises in the main room, and the third group works on their compositions in the Piano Lab. The three groups rotate through each room over the course of that day's class.
The students are shown how to notate their musical ideas through their own “invented” musical notation. Teaching Artists facilitate the translation of the “invented” notation into standard notation so they will be able to perform their compositions for them. In this process the Teaching Artists perform the role of a scribe being acutely sensitive to the need to faithfully represent the musical ideas as imagined by the youngster.
Today (January 5) is the 3rd class for VYC 2018. The Young Composers are in the process of meeting the VYC staff, Teaching Artists, and each other. The eleven Teaching Artists are volunteer music majors from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The staff consists of Robert Rosen, executive director and three elementary school music teachers from the Stevens Point Area Public School District - Sandy Weyers/Schuyler Pietz/Emma Bernhagen. The Young Composers represent eleven area elementary schools plus the homeschooled. The first come-first served registration does not require previous experience.
For the first two classes the Young Composers are learning about the instruments that will be available for their compositions. That will continue today during the third class. They are introduced to the instruments during an "instrument interview" where they are encouraged to ask questions and touch the instruments. The Teaching Artists will expose them to the voice of the instruments, their ranges, and other unique properties. The Young Composers are writing for the instrument in each session and the Teaching Artists are performing some of these early compositions.
We also have been taking them through a series of group exercises designed to show them how to invent their own notation system to help them remember their ideas. The whole beginning process is designed to create a class of creative composers who are in charge of their own musical process.
Here are the 2018 VYC Teaching Artists and staff.