Mentoring Program

the starry night

928 userid
My piece is about the littlest star in the sky of VanGoughś painting, Starry Night. The wind wants to take the star away but the little star succeeds in going home.
Grade Level: 6
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: flute and Cello
Key: key of c
Meter Signature: 4/4 time
Tempo: 120
Status: Completed Work
Noteflight URL: Website Title
Located in: Opus 32 grades 6-8


#14 Lee Heuermann 2017-04-04 16:07
Dear Willow,

Thanks for entering your piece, “The Starry Night” for Opus 32. Unfortunately, it was not chosen for performance. However, I congratulate you on the work you put into it and encourage you to keep composing. You were truly a joy to work with and I appreciate your upbeat attitude and fun comments! I look forward to seeing more work from you in the future and hope to work with you again. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes and keep up the good work!

#13 Lee Heuermann 2017-03-29 16:31
Dear Willow,

Yay for you! You’re getting very close! And thank you so much! I like you as a student too!

Here are some details to tend to:

You only need the title up top, NOT on the left side above the tempo marking.

Nice job on adding dynamic markings. The dynamic markings go below the part, so in mms. 1-4, if you want the crescendo - decrescendo for the flute as well, you need to add it in below the flute. Same with the p in m. 6
and all your dynamics - put them under both parts if that’s what you want.

In m. 26 pull the f down as it’s bumping into your notes.

In m. 34 under the flute part, pull the crescendo up a bit.

In m. 74 (last measure), pull your decrescendo sign back a bit so it doesn’t bump into the double bar.

And please remember to make the dynamics for the repeats different.

Try adding some articulations as well - more slurs (legato) and staccato’s.

You’re almost done and remember to get things done by tomorrow, Thursday, 3/30/17.

Let me know if you have any questions!

#12 willow michaud 2017-03-29 06:18
dear lee,
I love the forte and piano ideas and well i think that i got it so yay! and i like you as a mentor as much as i love music!
#11 Lee Heuermann 2017-03-28 20:16
Dear Willow,

Wow! You’ve worked hard on your piece and made a lot of progress! I really like your syncopations throughout starting in mms. 2-3 in the cello. And great job working to add more space in! I can hear a difference!

The next step to make your piece more expressive and to really come alive is to add dynamics and articulations.

Dynamics (volume)
Please add dynamic markings (volume) such as forte (f), piano (p) or mezzo forte (mf), and crescendo or decrescendos throughout.

Also, when you have repetitions make them different - for instance the first time could be forte and the repeat could be piano.

Articulations (legato, staccato, accent marks)
I only see one slur in mms. 9-10. If you don’t write these in throughout the piece everything will be played detached, so if you want it to flow - use slurs for legato (flowing) or if you want it detached and short sounding use staccato. For accented attacks use accent marks. If you don’t put anything in (and sometimes you may want this) each note is played somewhat separated from the next.

Descriptive markings
In the beginning and at different points in your piece if the mood changes, you can use words to describe what you want, such as “sparkling” , “lively”, or whatever words you think best describe your piece and how you want it played. This really helps the performers and especially when there’s not a lot of rehearsal time this really helps the performers to understand what you want as the composer. Be specific!

In m. 31in the flute part did you mean to have an a# sharp or is that a mistake?

Please change the spelling of “Starry” in your title -
It should have a double r.

Thank you so much Willow for sharing with me that you have ADHD and also that you like snakes. I’ve always wished that I wasn’t afraid of them.

You still have a bit of work to do, but you’re on the home stretch! Remember that the deadline is this Thursday, March 30th, so work hard between now and then!

Let me know if you have any questions!

#10 willow michaud 2017-03-25 17:28
dear Lee,
I have listened to my song and i think thats its more spaced out please tell me if thats what you meant. i love the way it sounds now! thanks and I think it'll be great if theirs anything else please tell me! :)
#9 willow michaud 2017-03-24 16:18
dear lee,
i love the idea of the spaced out parts so i'll try that and your a very helpful person to understand even with adhd its easy to get what you mean so thanks for that! im adhd so i'd know thanks.
p.s. vt doesnt have snakes but i love them
#8 Lee Heuermann 2017-03-24 15:15
Also, Willow,

"Starry" is spelled with two r's.


#7 Lee Heuermann 2017-03-24 14:51
Dear Willow,

You are so very welcome for my being your mentor! I am so very happy to work with you and I appreciate your thanking me. That’s thoughtful of you! I feel very lucky to have my job as mentor and love getting to see your new work and helping budding composers.

That’s very exciting that you are a singer and songwriter and I’m so glad you love your music class. I think flute and cello is a good choice for “The Starry Night”.

As for creating a feeling of “space” - held notes can do that - a feeling of stretched out expanse - using more half, dotted half, and whole notes would help. Or even, having one instrument sustaining (holding) while the other has faster motion. It shows a contrast of one against the other and shows a sense of perspective. I think it would help to maybe have a contrasting section in the middle where the notes in both parts sustain more. You could also slow both parts down. Does that make sense? Let me know please. Both cello and flute sound very beautiful sustained as they both have such a beautiful tone. The bowed cello sounds especially lovely held out.

For example, from mms. 9 - 47 both parts are either moving in quarter notes or eighth notes at the same time. This makes the music feel busy. I see that from m. 55 you begin to have more of one note sustained (whole note) against a faster moving part. This is good and shows a bit more variety.

As for your question about snakes in California, I am lucky to live in Berkeley in the Bay Area near San Francisco as there are very few snakes here. However, I know there are snakes in other parts of the state.

Thanks and I hope this helps!

#6 willow michaud 2017-03-23 19:59
i had used the flute and cello i dont yet know the sounding of it but i like that we are on the same page and love this program because of the working and maybe getting it out to the world so thanks for being my mentor!
#5 Lee Heuermann 2017-03-23 14:36
Dear Willow,

How’s everything going with your composing? I'll write again soon to answer your other questions but right now, I just wanted to check in with you and to remind you that you’re in the home stretch. You need to have your final draft of your composition ready by one week from today, Thursday, March 30th.

We will then select the pieces that will be performed on the Opus 32 concert. If your piece is selected, we will then work together on polishing all of the details for the final submission of your score to give to the performers.

Let me know if you have any questions and how I can help you, and please work hard to get things ready by next Thursday, 3/30.

Thanks and keep up the good work!


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