Philip Sheppard is a world-class composer, producer and virtuoso cellist who one night, in an effort to make his own composing easier, came up with the idea to place several notes on dozens of translucent cards. Then by rearranging, ordering, rotating and flipping the cards, he was able to compose songs in minutes. The long-term result is a unique experience called Compose Yourself.
Using this special deck of translucent cards, any child, or even adults, can quickly compose their own music.
After inputing associated numbers from the cards into either a free website on the computer or on a tablet such as an iPad, within minutes their song can be played by either a full symphony orchestra, a marimba or both. Then, after children personalize their composition with a name, they can download an MP3 of their original song, and create free printable sheet music to share with their friends and family through social channels. There are billions of musical combinations at their fingertips.
As parents, during nap time we played lullabies and classical music, while during the toddler and preschool years we made every effort possible to provide opportunities for our son to play musical instruments, and engage in music classes within the community. When you have an active little boy who tends to be more inclined to run a mile around the track at 4-years-old, we were always drawn to prioritizing more physical activities.
However, it was not until he entered elementary school with required weekly "specials" that were part of the curriculum did it become evidently clear to us, how important exposure to art and music are for his emotional well-being and character development. He began to come home everyday bursting with excitement from these experiences, and we quickly began to see immediately how it was becoming a part of his personality and everyday life.
After gathering information on the costs associated with teaching a young child how to play a musical instrument, our family wasn't quite ready to make the time and financial commitment, but with Compose Yourself, which is recommended for kids ages 6 and up, as a family we enjoy the ease at which we can create songs together. Aside from the songs themselves, what has shocked me more than anything, are the beautiful names he assigns as titles.
There are so many wonderful opportunities a deck of cards such as Compose Yourself can provide for children and adults.
Maybe you are a music teacher, looking for memorable ways to teach children about composing, stanzas and notes, that are hands-on, fun and cost-effective.
Perhaps you are looking for a way to expose your child to music and the arts, but weren't sure how to do so, because you are much more qualified to teach the proper technique of kicking a soccer ball than how to read notes.
Are you a grandparent who loves to play piano, but lives 2,000 miles away from your grandchildren? Why not let your grandkids compose songs for you to play during your weekly FaceTime chats.
Were you once a child who grew up in a poor neighborhood whose parents simply couldn't afford an instrument, yet you somehow learned how to cope and escape from life's challenges by putting on headphones and listening to music?
With Compose Yourself, while there are certainly billions of musical combinations at a child's fingertips, I'm positive there are billions of other ways this simple, translucent deck of cards can have a tremendous impact on the lives of teachers, children and their families.
Compare prices of Compose Yourself here.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.