Composition at SRS



Composing and Creating at Sunset Ridge School

Project-based curriculum with performance

Northfield, Illinois


Rule 1: Follow the rules

Rule 2: Rules can be broken

Rule 3: What rules?


Creating OPPORTUNITIES for students to create, compose, and follow their dreams

Cool networking


New podcasting program


Main website


Composer Collaborative with Brenda Muench


SRS music curriculum



All parents sign a Parental consent in order to be on, pictures, works. and printed media. 

Parentalconsent_09.doc It is a .doc, download and change the names 

Students are not taught theory, just these simple rules:

Along with composition, 4/5 classes put on a classroom musical and the fourth graders perform at the yearly Holiday Concert.

There is a yearly Talent Show and an "All School Musical" where over 50% of the school participate.

All 4/5 students are required to take a band instrument. 

Composition Curriculum


Fourth Grade (2x a week - 40 minutes)

Piano Keyboard - simple sound effects, no talking

Sound Studio - talking only

GarageBand - one picture, only music, then talking (when they ask)

Sibelius - compose song for band instrument, must be able to play song


Fifth Grade (2x a week - 40 minutes)

Piano Keyboard - story with sound effects

Sound Studio - only review, no files

GarageBand and iMovie - composer project

Sibelius - any instruments allowed


Sixth Grade (Nine weeks every day)

Piano Keyboard/GarageBand - story with claymation, Flash, or iMovie

Sibelius/GarageBand - compose in Sibelius, save a MIDI, drag and drop into GB, with pictures, Flash, or iMovie

Spectacular Project - students have 14-18 days to work on ONE project.


Seventh and Eighth Grade (Elective - three times a week)

Individual Projects


Vermont MIDI Students (grades 5-8, only 5-8 students in the program)

Once a week, arranged separately with student and teacher

Individual time

Must be taking private band/string/piano lessons

Desire to compose 

Main website

Teacher website


Hunting and Fishing

Trolls and Goats



Composition website - you need to download scorch in order to view files. It views better in Safari than Firefox.


Flight of the Eagles

An Adventure

Spring Storm (music) (video)

GarageBand, not GarbageBand - presentation and student files - a gaming site that won a National Website award in Hollywood.