The case-study records of six sixth-grade composers were examined for evidence of connections between the music and life experiences of the students and compositions they wrote. Analysis revealed rich and varied connections between the students' contexts and their music. Idiomatic writing related to instrumental and ensemble experiences was present in their works, and links between instrumental fluency and fluency in composing became evident. Familiar melodies from instrumental experiences, films, and television served as starting points for compositions. Social and cultural cues related to other media as well as to school and home life were also evident in compositions. Findings suggest that young composers draw on their sociocultural milieu and personal experiences to create music that is relevant and meaningful to them.
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