Article Title

Composing Your Meaning


Using composition as a pedagogical tool provided students a unique approach in learning a music style, in this instance, hip-hop. The students’ creation of an original rap (beat and lyrics) provided an opportunity to study, work with, and create within a music style, while also expressing the individuals’ meaning. It was the aim of this composition project to educate students through music as opposed to in, about, or for music. To gain a further and unique understanding of students’ perceptions of utilizing composition as pedagogy, the process of creating a music composition was the main medium of research inquiry, music as research. This approach provided a unique pathway toward understanding and also a different lens and angle of the research inquiry itself. Responding to a music-based research question through composing music invites, encourages, and presents new, different, and inspiring opportunities for participants in sharing their responses. The unique vehicle of composing music as a response, provided participants the ability to share and express meaning in a way other traditional research methods may not provide, thereby enabling the possibility of arriving at new or different findings.