Learning to be a composer takes a willingness to make mistakes, take chances, and persevere through challenges.  When the composer Daryl Johnson II came to visit our class, he said that he spends somewhere between 30-50 hours on each piece he composes! Composing may be challenging but it is an appreciated profession across the world. Movies, TV shows, Symphonies, and Theatre all rely heavily on composers to create music tailored to their needs. A composer has to have a command over music theory, harmony, and expressive ideas so that he/she can create just the right music for the occasion. Composition also takes enormous creativity. It wouldn’t be artistic if it wasn’t original and unique!  

The Process

Learning Composition

Escalante 7th Grade Orchestra Nature Compositions

Students began the composing process with an image or video related to nature. The assignment was to enhance that image or video by creating music to compliment it. Students used their instruments, pencil and paper, and an online composition tool called noteflight.com to help create their composition. Each student details the choices they made for their composition on the following pages. Make sure to mute the original sound on any videos so you can enjoy the new sound created by our own EMS 7th Grade Orchestra!

Gentoo Penguin

My song, Gentoo Penguin, was inspired by just walking. The first thing I did was I started off with a measure with notes that make a C chord. After that, I just put notes together that made sense and changed the rhythm in the ones that I harmonized. It was time to pick my nature scene, and I wanted the video to flow with my song. I was doing this kind of waddling motion when I was dancing to the music and I thought of a penguin. That's why I chose a Gentoo Penguin to put with my song.

Ana Cuntz

Gentoo Penguin

Lauren Grinde

Trial II


As I was making this song, “trial II” in the beginning I was mostly  just messing around. Then I decided that this was a song that I would really pour my feelings into and make my own. As I was writing this song it inspired me to write other songs on my own terms. not as a school assignment. Now I really love writing songs and I might just become an orchestra songwriter when I grow up. Maybe I would get one of my songs published. I love music, I love to write songs, play songs and  go to the symphony! Music is what drives me. And is maybe get me into a musical collage when I’m older. I used a lot of different techniques in this song including: duet, harmony, legato bow stroke, rhythm and adagio. I am very proud of this song. I hope you enjoy it!

Start video at 00:25

Piper Johnson 

         My name is Piper Johnson. I created this composition as a mix of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and a pirate song. I really think that it turned out great. It was kind of funny because before my teacher gave me this assignment, I played a little something and wrote it down because I thought it sounded cool. A little while ago, a composer came into our class and taught us how his version of how to compose a song. He uses harmonies. My song is in D minor. So I just wrote down a little diagram of harmonies.

                                                         A   B  C   D Eb F G   A

                                                         F  G   A   B C  D  Eb F

                                                         D  Eb F  G  A  B  C   D

      My composition, Hummingbird, represents pollination. This was a 3 week process.  I started by wanting to represent spring. But when I finished the song I scratched that idea. I soon came upon a pattern of phrases that I later turned into this song. I then revised and edited it to come to satisfaction. After putting it in Noteflight I recorded myself and put my video and song into imovie.

Kyla Tucker


Cameren Kelley

I wrote my piece, "Dawn" to make people feel the equality of calmness and mystery. Once I knew the image I wanted I began to think and play my feelings and emotions I felt when I thought of my image. The beginning of the piece represents the very early dawn when there is none or very little light, then throughout the piece it represents the sun coming up. 



I chose to do this song because the flowers blossoming in the spring and everything growing in the sunshine. The video goes with the song because the video has flowers blossoming although it looks like they are melting. The flowers are in rythm with the music (sort of) and they look like the music is making them grow. This song reminds me of flowers blossoming and making the world look pretty.

Emily Murillo Ramirez

                                     Flower Go CABOOM

Start the video at 23 seconds

Jackson Gilleland


I chose to do a cow because I'm sort of sure that no at this school has done a song based of a cow. I started randomly putting notes on. Then I deleted it. Then I did the same thing but with more order. I still ended up throwing it away. Then i chose to base it off a cow. And it was a success! Then I made a couple of changes. I have to give credit to Note flight.com. Then I made a recording of me and I sent it to my teacher Mr. Charpentier. And now I'm typing this paragraph. So ya there's how I put it together.

This song is about getting in a conflict with anyone or anything. This debate that you're in drags you down and holds you captive in a world that is unknown, dark, and cold. Every time you get an idea of escape, it never works. It brings you further into despair. Stuck without hope, you're stuck, lost in despair forever in a fight that you can't win.

The Lost 

Naomi Miner

Alyssa Wilcox

Winter to Spring

This song represents that there is music in different places and that you just need to listen. All I did was get a rhythm and add notes to it. In this song I drop chords and that’s to show the ice­cicles melting. I drop the chords every two measures to create the sound to seem like the ice­cicles are getting shorter as the melt.

Jack Sluis

Sea Monster


When I was making this composition, my first thoughts were to make a sea-like song, since pirate songs and jigs are usually very culture inspired and unique to make a song about, no matter who makes it. But as I developed this song, I realized that it had a japanese twist to it, so I went off that. As I continued to develop the song, I originally set it at 129 tempo, but since I am a hyperactive kid, I sped it up. A LOT. While I originally intended for it to be a shantee of sorts, I noticed I made a japanese twist, so I went off that and created a piece that was originally based off sea shanties, but I gave it a japanese twist incidentally, creating a piece that was quick paced, and inspired by some of my favorite music, sea shanties.

Lila Trono

I wanted to have a fiddle sounding rhythm to my song so I started out with a type of shuffle. After that I just let the notes speak for themselves and say what they wanted to say. My picture was decided when myself and some friends listened to it and we all agreed that we thought that a sunset would best represent the song.

Aidan Roessler

                                                    Ocean Waves

The title of my composition is Ocean Waves. I wanted to achieve a laid back moderate peaceful tone as the waves in the video are typical calm waves. I also tried to bring out the tone of the tone of the waves crashing against the rocks with the melody. The harmony was used to represent the smaller waves drifting atop the surf. The different parts are meant to give emotion to the different series of waves that collide with the rocks.


Madison Ostrander

Rowan Burger 

   The song Dots On Lines was themed on the burning of forests. I wrote the piece in C major because the theme was sad and gloomy.   

Damon DeForest