Composing In Fifth Grade with Conversational Solfege

Jon Noyes

Teaching our choristers to read and write music with understanding is both challenging and essential. This session will present practical techniques and strategies for authentic musical composition in a fifth grade general/choral setting based on the principles of Conversational Solfege. Key readiness activities from grades K – 4 and student compositions that may be studied as examples will also be presented.

Participants will be guided through examples of practical techniques following the sequential approach of Conversational Solfege. Step by step strategies to develop notational audiation skills naturally lead to the capstone musical composition project. Participants will see and hear successful and not so successful examples of fifth grade compositions.

Jon Noyes

Jon Noyes is a music educator in the Fairfield (Conn.) Public Schools and is the Music Director & Founder of the Fairfield County Children’s Choir. He served as Adjunct Professor of Music at Fairfield University from 2002 – 2012. A Massachusetts native, Mr. Noyes received Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford. He holds a fourth-year certificate from the Kodaly Musical Training Institute and is a Past President of the Southern New England Kodaly Educators. He has completed post-graduate studies with Doreen Rao, Betty Bertaux, Henry Leck, Leon Thurman, Edwin Gordon, Gabriella Thesz and Tibor Szabo.

The Connecticut Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association named Mr. Noyes Choral Director of the Year for 1998. He has conducted all-state, regional and national festival choirs, including the 2011 National Children’s Choir for the Organization of American Kodaly Educators. He has presented in-service workshops throughout the United States and has published articles in local, state and regional journals. Under his direction, the Fairfield County Children’s Choir has performed in New York at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden and West Point, at Tanglewood, and in Boston, Denver, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, San Francisco, Oakland, Hawaii, Arizona, Canada, England, Ireland, Austria and the Czech Republic.

Mr. Noyes is a member of FAME, ACDA, NAfME and OAKE.