The ideas presented in Music Works come from the experience of teaching music composition in a classroom setting to students largely not familiar with music notation or basic musical concepts. The driving force behind this book is to help learners explore music through the act of composing and arranging their original ideas. These lessons have been used as part of the Young Composers and Improvisors Workshop at LREI where participating students become composers and are given the experience of hearing their compositions performed by live musicians. Visit the website to learn more and to hear student pieces.
On some topics the approach will reflect what is typically found in standard approaches to teaching Western Music Harmony but in other areas it will seem quite different. Precedent is given to strategies that help the learner engage in the concepts in most immediate way. It is highly recommended that each lesson be utilized with some type of music notation software such as Noteflight, Finale, Sibelius or Muse Score. The student is encouraged to experiment with arranging notes in the manner of each particular lesson so as to best grasp the concepts.