Welcome!

Composing Together is an approach to designing and implementing compositional activities tailored to meet the needs of your K-12 students. Offering music teachers and others interested in helping young musicians create original music, Composing Together offers a set of tools and strategies for creating lessons that suit your learners, your schedule, your curricular needs, and your resources. 

Composing Together is not a rigid method requiring teachers or students to follow prescribed steps and rules, but rather a set of guiding principles that allow teachers and students to think and feel music as they compose it – be they working individually, with partners or in a small group, as a class, or as a full large ensemble.  Teachers using the Composing Together approach can guide students in the successful creation of original music to share with a variety of audiences.

The approach to teaching composition detailed Composing Together was designed by Michele Kaschub and Janice P. Smith in 2006 as they initiated the first graduate certificate program in teaching music composition in K-12 settings offered in the United States. Beginning at the University of Southern Maine and extending to course offerings at the Aaron Copland School of Music-Queens College/CUNY, the University of Colorado-Boulder, and Central Connecticut State University, the Composing Together approach continues to gain acclaim. In addition to courses and workshops offered for the National Association for Music Education, the College Music Society, and the Society for Music Teacher Education, Kaschub & Smith have also published Minds on Music: Composition for Creative and Critical Thinking as a guide to help pre-service and practicing teachers understand the process and products of children's composing.

Distinguished from both a music theory/analytical approach to writing music and approaches that promote musical elements as the building blocks of sound, Composing Together methods and materials continue to focus on the development of each child’s compositional capacities.  Emphasis on developing the young composer’s ability to employ feeling intention, musical expressivity and artistic craftsmanship in sound insures the creation of expressive music and grants authentic voice to the musical imagination of young composers.