Artist Focus on Mazz Swift
This video features the questions that Mazz uses to determine whether a piece of music is done or requires further editing.
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- Play back your piece and review the checklist of criteria to see what else you want to do with it.
- Does the piece have a beginning, middle, and end?
- How does the piece evolve or develop over time?
- Does the piece have the shape that you intended? What shape do you want?
- Does the piece have enough variety? (Or is it clear that a lack of variety is the point?)
- Does the piece feel like an expression of who you are or what you wanted to say?
- Edit your piece to reflect any changes you want to make.
- Once you have finished your piece, the last step in this process is to figure out how to hold on to the lessons you learned. Write a letter to yourself or an entry in your journal about how the process went for you and what you might like to do differently next time.
- Which parts of the process were the most enjoyable?
- Which parts were the most challenging?
- In what areas do you feel like you learned the most?
Explore Other Parts of Speak Your Music
Introduction | Express Yourself
Mazz Swift, Clay Ross, and Sarah Elizabeth Charles share their backgrounds and processes for creating music.
Artist Focus on Mazz Swift | Lesson One: Finding a Theme
Mazz shares her distinct approach to using improvisation as a way of generating musical ideas to use in composition.
Artist Focus on Mazz Swift | Lesson Two: Tweaking, Tinkering, and Messing with Your Music
Mazz shares her recommendations for manipulating and organizing basic musical ideas in order to explore different compositional approaches.
Artist Focus on Clay Ross | Lesson One: Building a Frame
Clay introduces his band Ranky Tanky and talks about the origins of their song “All For You.”
Artist Focus on Clay Ross | Lesson Two: Making It Yours
Clay breaks down how he used source material from the Gullah tradition and West African music to create his original song.
Artist Focus on Clay Ross | Lesson Three: A Life of Its Own
Clay explores how “All For You” evolved into new shapes as Ranky Tanky collaborated with other artists.
Artist Focus on Sarah Elizabeth Charles | Lesson One: My Big Idea
Sarah describes how she uses a big question to spark the idea for a new song that explores the relationship between all human beings.
Artist Focus on Sarah Elizabeth Charles | Lesson Two: My Musical Brainstorm
Sarah demonstrates how she creates a musical foundation for her new piece, and then shapes a melody on top of that foundation.
Artist Focus on Sarah Elizabeth Charles | Lesson Three: Growing My Idea
Sarah explains how her collaboration with a musical friend helped to shape the final version of her new piece.