Kids Music Composition 101

Music Composition with GarageBand iOS: Intermediate

This eight week NSM class is the continuation of the introductory, “Creating Music with GarageBand iOS” course.

Students who have completed the introductory course or have a basic understanding of GarageBand iOS App will further explore the GarageBand as a powerful music education tool. Though a progressive series of hands-on activities, students will re-create drum patterns, chord progressions and melody lines based on a diverse range of genre specific examples. Building on the fundamental rhythmic, melodic and harmonic principles learned in the introductory course, students will gain a more in-depth understanding of the compositional/arranging process used in modern music.

Class Format:
Through eight weekly class meetings, students will be guided through a series of activities exploring the techniques used in composing for specific instruments and genre types. Each exercise will comprise of a guided “example re-creation” lesson followed by a creative project, allowing students to experiment with the newly learned technique. These weekly lesson segments will culminate in a final original song project, uniting the skills and techniques gained throughout the course. Students who participate in the eight week course receive a NSM course certificate of completion.

Class activities:

  • Creating drum grooves with Beat Sequencer
  • Sequencing electronic and “acoustic” drum grooves
  • Common chord progressions with Smart Piano
  • Altering/customizing chord progressions in Piano Roll
  • Composing a melodic motif, phrase and theme
  • Composing a melodic motif based on common chord progressions
  • Harmonizing a melodic motif
  • Analysis of compositional/arranging techniques in various genres

Course Requirement:

  • Student’s must have access to an Apple iOS device (iPhone or iPad). Completion of NSM’s introductory Music Recording 101/GarageBand course “Creating Music with GarageBand iOS” is advised.


  • 8-16 yrs.

Class Time:
• 60 minutes once a week for 8 weeks
• Fridays 3:30 – 4:30 PM

Fall Session: TBD