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Speak Your Music

Artist Focus on Mazz Swift

Lesson Three: Finished! For Now …

This video features the questions that Mazz uses to determine whether a piece of music is done or requires further editing.

Your Assignment

  1. 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?
  2. Edit your piece to reflect any changes you want to make.
  3. 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.

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