University of Wisconsion - Eau Claire




Very Young Composers of the Chippewa Valley

30 hours

Beginning date:
Ending Date:

Service-Learning Proposal Description


Briefly describe the project and the community need to be addressed.

Answer The Young Composers create their original compositions with the assistance of volunteer UW-Eau Claire undergraduate music students, acting as Teaching Artists. The Teaching Artists do not focus on instructing the Young Composers how to compose music. Their role is more that of a scribe, faithfully putting the musical ideas as imagined and described by the Young Composers into standard musical notation for later performance by the Teaching Artists. The Young Composers create their music for any combination of usually six to seven instruments. At the conclusion of the class their compositions are performed by the Teaching Artists in a public performance with each Young Composer introducing their music. This project allows 4th and 5th grade students to see themselves as musicians and composers as they see their ideas come to fruition through sound.


What is the mission of the agency or organization?

Answer The mission of Very Young Composers of the Chippewa Valley is to provide an interactive pathway for children to listen, explore, and reveal the essence of their own voice through the creation of original music. The four-week after-school class held in January is open to all 4th and 5th grade students in the Chippewa Valley. No prior experience in music is expected of the young composers who participate in this program.


What skills are required for this project? 

Answer College students who serve as Teaching Artists need the following skills to be successful: familiarity with notation programs such as Finale or MuseScore, the ability to listen to the composers' ideas and transfer them into traditional notation, the ability to perform the composers' ideas on an instrument (including voice), and the ability to ask guiding questions to draw out ideas rather than make decisions for the young composer they are working with each day. Teaching Artists will also serve as the performers for the compositions; they will need to be performance ready on Sunday, January 14.


What are the objectives for the student learning and service?

Answer This is an intensive learning experience for both the young composers in the program and the collegiate Teaching Artists that work with them. By the end of the two weeks, Teaching Artists will have helped at least two young composers notate a composition for performance at the end of the workshop. Teaching Artists will be able to explain how the composition worked for their young composers and transfer sound ideas into traditional notation. They will also be able to determine how to make parts performable for different instruments in context of their range. For service, Teaching Artists will be serving as musical role models for children. They will be working on adjusting their communication skills so that the 4th and 5th grade students understand their instructions and their questions. Teaching Artists also learn that children are intelligent and capable of having complex ideas, which is a critical understanding for our preservice teachers specifically.


What are the availability requirements for the student?

Answer Very Young Composers meets from 4 - 6 pm on each weekday beginning on January 2 - January 12, 2024 with a 30-minute staff meeting to follow each session. We will be rehearsing compositions with the young composers on Saturday, January 13, 2024 at some point between the hours of 1 pm - 7 pm. We will not be rehearsing that entire time, but that is the window we are providing so that we can adjust based on specific schedules. The performance will be on Sunday, January 14, 2024 from 2 - 4 pm. We will have a couple of orientation meetings as well. One is November 18, 2023 from 10 am - 5 pm, and the other is TBD.


Additional information (not required).

Answer A note for preservice education students: Although this is a 30-hour service-learning project, there is a Human Relations requirement that requires field experience that is met in ES 385. If you are taking ES 385 in Winterim and we have students who qualify as underrepresented populations, it is possible to meet both the service-learning requirement and the HR requirement in January. Please see Laura Dunbar for more information.