Composition 101: Sound Experimentation and Invented Notation, by Matt Turner
People are often surprised to learn that I do no use traditional music elements such as melody, chords, key signatures, meter, form or the staff when introducing composition. Whether I am working with college-aged students who are fluent in theory or elementary-aged students who are non-readers, my approach is similar--I focus on sound and invented notation and avoid traditional theory so that student composers may experiment with organizing sound without getting tangled in the "rules" often associated with tradition. The concepts that follow are designed to do just that and can be applied when composing pieces akin to traditional repertoire as well.
"Wisconsin School Musician", Vol. 85, No. 1. Posted with permission of the Wisconsin School Music Association.