Get Creative! Start Writing Your Own Music

We encourage our students to get creative, so we decided to put together some tips for how to write your own music - we've even included Baltimore School of Music staff paper!

1. START SIMPLE BY CHOOSING AN INSTRUMENT

Before trying to write your first symphony, start small by writing for a single instrument. The most common instrument to compose with is the piano, as it's easy to see the notes and has the range of most other instruments. If you don't have access to a piano (or don't play the piano), just start with your own instrument.

2. SET A GOAL

Before you put pen to paper, set a goal for how long your piece should be. You can start with 8 measures and work up to longer pieces from there. There is no composition too short as long as you are putting your creativity to work.

3. CHOOSE A KEY & TIME SIGNATURE

Another basic aspect to composing is knowing what key and time signature you want your piece to be in. Since it has no sharps or flats, C Major is a great place to start. You're probably used to playing in 4/4, so go with what you feel comfortable with. 

4. COMPOSE A MELODY

Examples of simple rhythm patterns:

Examples of simple rhythm patterns:

Remembering those scales you've been practicing? Start your piece by using them to create a melody. Begin by writing a basic rhythm - it can be as simple as using all quarter notes; or if you want to give yourself some more variety, you can mix in some half and whole notes (see examples above). Once you've decided on a rhythm, go back and plug in a note from your scale for each rhythm. Once you've tried this you can move on to more complicated scales and rhythms!

5. KEEP PRACTICING

Just like playing an instrument, composing is learned through practicing. As you move from one composition to the next, try to challenge yourself a little more each time. Try adding in more complex rhythms or compose in a new key signature. Giving yourself a new goal for each composition can help to guide you through the process and towards progress. 

Now you have some creative tools and a supply of sheet music to get started - happy composing!