Teaching Music Creation: Approaches Tips & Tools

with Michael Cain & Isaac Rohr

Download EMRA’s Approaches Guide

This article discusses various aspects of music creation and recording, including different genres and techniques. It also highlights the use of technology and software in the creative process.

Section 1: IDEATION: Before music creation there is music ideation.

This section explores several examples of the music ideation process as food for thought when facilitating music creation. Two playlists are included for use with your students.

Section 2: THE STUDIO: A look at different approaches for using the studio as an open-ended space for music learning and exploration when teaching and learning about music production. Included in the discussion are ways to approach teaching studio Orientation, Learning through Loops, Learning through the Tools, Learning through Theory & Genre, Learning by Breaking, and Playing without Breaking.

Section 3: DISTRIBUTION & SHARING: A look at some key ways to incorporate sharing in your classroom or studio.

Meet Michael & Isaac

Michael Cain of the Michael Cain Trio

Michael Cain

EMRA Program Director, Piano, Jazz

After moving to New York in 1990, Cain became a first call pianist, working with drum legend Jack DeJohnette for nine years, as well as Dave Holland, Steps Ahead, Ravi Coltrane, Bobby McFerrin, Stanley Turrentine, Lauren Hill, Joshua Redman, Pat Metheny, Charles Neville, Christian McBride, John Scofield, Robin Eubanks, and Meshell N’degeocello, among others.

His numerous awards include a 2006 Grammy nomination for Dance of the Infidel, Meshell N’degeocello’s release on which Michael is pianist and co-arranger. He has recorded several records as a leader including Circa, a 1996 ECM release which featured Ralph Alessi and Peter Epstein, and served as producer for several recordings including Ron Blake’s Shariya, and Brian Landrus’ Traverse and Capsule

Learn more about Michael Cain…

Isaac's headshot

Isaac Rohr

EMRA Studio Coordinator, Electronic Music, Music Production, Recording Arts

Isaac Rohr (he/him) aims to meet students where they’re at and give them a learning environment and guidance with no limits. Students can set the course and style of their own learning through open dialogue, ensuring that biases are minimized between teacher and student. Students learn to trust their instincts and follow their interests wholeheartedly to not only become a more sensitive musician/artist, but also a more sensitive person.

Isaac Rohr holds a Bachelor of Music – Music Composition from Brandon University and a Master of Fine Arts – Music Composition and Experimental Sound Practices from The California Institute of The Arts.

Learn more about Isaac Rohr

Electronic Music Recording Arts

MacPhail’s EMRA program teaches various skills, concepts, and techniques associated with contemporary music-making and traditional styles. Along with individual lessons on piano, voice, guitar, and drums, EMRA specializes in instruction in multitrack recording, electronic music production, mixing and mastering, beat making, DJing, film scoring, sound design, Hip Hop production, and electroacoustic composition. By giving voice to the stories and music of their imagination, EMRA students experience music-making as a vehicle for holistic growth and development. 

Learn more about EMRA

Need help teaching electronic music? Our Electronic Music Recording Arts (EMRA) faculty is available for no-cost visits and coaching for schools that qualify.

Get EMRA help for your classroom

©MacPhail Center for Music | All Rights Reserved | May be used for educational purposes without written permission but with a citation to this source.

Published on Date: Jun 28, 2024
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