Dr. R. Douglas Helvering, Professor at Westminster Choir College, with the 2016 young composers
About the VOICES Young Composers Project
Why do a composition project for young children?
Early childhood is an excellent time to foster positive attitudes and passions for activities, including music. Every child can, and often does, make up songs---although they may not initially realize it. They may have a stream-of-consciousness of words or find a repeated rhythm that appeals to them, which can become the basis for a composition. Children who can speak generally can also sing and create music. The VOICES Young Composers Project helps to foster a child’s desire to create music by helping them turn a song into a finished product.
What are the benefits for those who participate in the composition project?
The benefits of this program are many: for both the child composer and his/her family. Adults may find themselves surprised and amazed at the sophistication of the compositions created by the children. The process open parents to new music and offers them an opportunity to support their child and his/her developing musical skills. The children become friends with other young composers and get to share notes and ideas for future compositions.
Plus, VOICES holds a master class with an established composer who offers the children encouragement and assistance with notation and ideas for performance. The Young Composers concert each spring showcases the compositions with each composer and the VOICES Chorale in the form of a family concert. A pint of ICE CREAM for each composer is the final (and yummy) reward!
How can a parent or teacher help?
Parents and teachers are encouraged to assist with putting the composition onto paper and recording the child’s work. Parents and teachers are asked to not create the song for the child. The creative works should be that of the young composer.
How do I enter my child/student?
Children 5-12 are eligible to enter. Dates and information about the 2017 competition will be posted in Fall 2016.
Dr. Robert McMahon, Professor at The College of New Jersey and Dr. Lyn Ransom with the 2014 young composers
Since 1987 the Voices Chorale has sponsored the Voices Young Composers Project for children ages 5-12. This program designed to be participatory and non-competitive---thus it is an excellent opportunity for young children to write their own music, work with an established composer on their composition, and have their music performed by VOICES Chorale! Students submit original songs and have the chance to have their pieces notated by professional and student composers and performed by members of VOICES Chorale at a very special concert, held in the spring each year.
If you have questions about the program, please email Dr. Susan Evans, firstname.lastname@example.org.