Mentoring Program

Lisa Opus 33

Composer Name: Lisa Zhou-Hackett
I started with piano and violin. I would to change the violin to french horn. My piece reminds me of skiing.
Grade Level: 4
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: piano and violin (french horn)
Key: C major
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: 120
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title
Located in: Opus 33 Grades 2-5


#3 Matt LaRocca 2018-02-22 11:26
Hi Lisa!

Nice work, and you've done a lot! The two staves in the piano is perfect. I love how the piano moves up and up towards the end, and then has long held whole notes. That variation in rhythm works very well.

In general, I would suggest that you don't have everyone playing all the time still. What if the "violin" played the first four measures by itself? Then you have a very clear theme in the music. After you establish the melody, then add the piano in. Try it out and see if you like it!

Also, in C major you want to avoid sharps and flats. Keep everything natural, and try to focus your music around the pitch of C. Start on a C, and end on a C - that's often a great way to think about building a melody. You have a home (C), go somewhere else, but then return home (back to C).

Let me know if you have any questions, and talk soon!

#2 Lisa Zhou-Hackett 2018-02-21 19:57
Dear Matt,
Thank you for your review and input.
I think the idea of making my piece sound like skiing
is a great thing to putt in my piece.
I also think the question and answer thing is pretty cool
so I will add some of that in my piece.
#1 Matthew LaRocca 2018-02-07 08:25
Hi Lisa!

My name is Matt, and I’ll be working with you on Opus. Nice start to your piece! I love how your piece is inspired by skiing. I’ve got my fingers crossed for a good snow storm today for some great skiing this weekend.

Changing the violin to French horn sounds good. The horn can’t play as high as the violin, but I think it will be nice. It can also go much lower, which is cool.

With you piano, you want to make it so there are two staves. Go into the instruments in note flight, and add a new instrument that’s a piano (making sure it has two staves, or a grand staff). Then you can copy and past your single piano line into the right hand (or upper) line of the piano. This way you can get all the lovely high notes a piano has, and all the low notes too.

Since you have two instruments, just remember they don’t have to play at the same time for the whole piece. This way you can have the instruments “talk” to each other, which is very cool. The horn can say one thing, and then the piano can respond. It’s also helpful to have different parts if they are playing at the same time. The horn can have long notes (whole notes) while the piano has quarter and eighth notes. Try it out!

Last, since you have such a nice idea about skiing, how can you show this in your music? Is it fast? Are they climbing a mountain so the music moves up…and then rushes down as they ski down the hill? Is there a jump? A crash?? So many great possibilities.

You’ve got a great start, and I’m excited to be working with you. Happy writing!


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