Jeanette at VCS has come across some difficulty with this concept as well. She writes:
"It's been interesting to see how they've been adding to their pieces. I've been having difficulty getting them to do the homophonic texture - they're tending towards polyphony, despite the many examples of homophony I've played for them.
I've been encouraging some of them to write a skeleton first - 1 whole note per measure that is consonant, then turn that into a 1 measure rhythmic pattern, but few have tried that. I'm starting to think that perhaps I needed to emphasize that the more melodic ideas they pile onto each other, the harder it is to get them to all "agree" and be consonant. "
Here was my reply:
Yes, having kids think about and try different textures is always the hardest part. I try to keep in mind that every student hear's things differently and for some sticking with polyphony can be fine.
Some of the analogies I use have to do with conversation or also actors on a stage. The composer must orchestrate the conversation or stage directions so that one person can be heard clearly while the rest of the cast plays a supporting role (quieter, more rests etc.)
The examples from the Texture lesson can be helpful. Including this one:
Also, examples from pop or rock are great because they almost all use a homophonic texture exclusively!