Composing in the Classroom

I am a teaching artist for the Boston Lyric Opera, where I lead opera writing workshops with elementary school classrooms.

Here is a recent project with first graders,  Be a Changemaker.

Here is an opera, Brave Stars, composed with 2nd-4th grade Cambridge, MA students in a BLO/NCFO/Cambridge Community Schools project. Members of the beloved North Cambridge Family Opera helped complete the score. The children composed lyrics and melodies. I arranged the rest.

I recently worked with two Cambridge Public Schools first grade classrooms to compose songs about science. The students wrote lyrics about their studies, and then dictated their melodies to me while I accompanied on my ukulele.

Here is my orchestration to a song about trees that the children wrote:

Some of the lyrics to explain the life cycle of trees are “The seed is a baby. The seedling is a seed where the stem starts to grow. The sapling is a young tree, like a teenager. A mature tree is a full-grown tree!”

Here is a biographical song, Galileo, composed with Cambridge Public Schools 3rd graders in 2016.

Here’s the karaoke orchestration of a song pre-kindergarteners wrote with me in 2018. They were teaching me about their study of birds. Select lyrics: “Some birds fly, some birds swim, some birds sing, but parrots talk!”