Composer Alma Deutscher, born 20075

Composer Alma Deutscher, born 2005

Inspiring! This young composer creates a piece of music based on three notes pulled form a hat . Use this idea — words rather than notes — as a model for a writing project. British Composer, Alma Deutscher, (born 2005) is always, relaxed — charming. A child who puts other children at ease.  This video from January, 2014, when Alma was eight, is many things, including, the perfect introduction to composing. The interviewer, often talking in Hebrew (this is from Israeli television), asks Alma to pull three notes from a hat and then improvise a piece based on those notes. The interviewer then talks with her about improvisation.

It would be easy to construct a writing exercise inspired by this musical improvisation project. Write words on a card, put in a hat, and pick three (or if you are a teacher hand out the randomly chosen words to your class). Alma talk about harmony and some other features of her improvisation that are unique to music. But analogues for harmony can be found in the idea of themes, or sub-plots, that might interact with the words chosen in the drawing.

After the improvisation Alma then plays a fun fast an furious piece inspired by a bees and appropriately called, “Bee,” written by a little known composer François Schubert (1808-1878). The interview ends with Alma playing for the first time the first part of her Piano Sonata No. 1 — a piece for piano and violin that I find unusually beautiful.

More information: Alma Deutscher at the Wikipedia. Alma at YouTube. Alma Deutcher’s website.

Please support her work by purchasing her album or downloading the music from iTunes. Search on Alma Deutscher.

William Rubel, Editor
About the Author

In 1973, I was twenty years old, teaching children's art classes at my college, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and came up with the idea that the best way to encourage children to write was to introduce them to the best writing by their peers. Stone Soup grew out of that idea. Along with co-editor Gerry Mandel, I have continued to edit and publish Stone Soup for all these years. I am also a culinary historian. I write about traditional foodways. My book, "The Magic of Fire," is about hearth cooking. My book, "Bread, a global history," speaks for itself. I am currently writing a 130,000-word bread history for a University Press. I publish articles on gardening and traditional foodways at Mother Earth News. I also publish on wild mushrooms and other food-related subjects.

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