Episode 11: Music Composition with Matt Neufeld

music composition

Does composing music interest you but you aren’t sure how or where to begin? Is the fear of not composing good pieces holding you back? Our guest today, Matt Neufeld, is a band teacher and composer who is joining us to talk about music composition and how he got started composing. 

We’ve all seen pieces intended for beginner bands that are boring, not interesting to our students, and don’t include what we want our students to be playing. It can be frustrating when you’re unable to find the perfect piece for your students. That’s what got Matt started in music composition for educational purposes. In this episode, Matt is sharing about his background as a teacher and composer, how he got started composing, what makes a quality piece of education music, and tips for up and coming composers who want to write educational pieces. 

A graduate of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, Matt Neufeld (b. 1985) does his best to compose, teach and play music for as many people as he can convince or coerce. Matt spends most of his days working with amazing band students at Ecole Van Walleghem and Oak Park High School in Winnipeg.  In his spare time, Matt enjoys competitive board gaming, playing his wife’s favourite songs on the piano in ways that do NOT endear him to her, and having his three children try to beat him at Mario Kart.

Are you looking for a way to teach the chromatic scale with ease? Our Let’s Learn the Chromatic Scale is just what you need! It includes the chromatic scale with fingering charts for each note for every band instrument, a “fill in the fingers” worksheet for each band instrument, and a chromatic scale/half step/enharmonic definition sheet giving you everything you need to easily teach all your students the chromatic scale. 

In this episode we cover:

  • Matt’s background as a musician, teacher, and composer
  • How he got started with music composition and why he kept writing even when his first pieces were not very good
  • Why he began composing pieces for educational purposes
  • Matt’s top three pieces he has composed
  • What his compositional process looks like
  • The important qualities that make up a quality piece of educational music
  • Matt’s advice for up and coming composers
  • Information about music education in Canada, specifically Manitoba

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More about The First Six Notes with Classroom Composers

The First Six Notes Podcast with Classroom Composers is for band teachers and string teachers looking for great information from experienced teachers. 

Every other week, we’ll dive into everything about teaching band and string music students. We’re covering everything from pedagogy to fundraising and interviewing successful music teachers, composers, admin, professional private studio teachers, and more to uncover and share their strategies for musical success. 

Classroom Composers is a married team of two music teachers, Kevin Hoff and Jessica Frank. Between the two of us, we have experience teaching K-6 general music, elementary 4/5 band/strings, and middle school band/strings/guitar who want to share our knowledge and experience with other teachers.

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