Composing Workshops

I am available as a workshop leader for groups of 4-12 adults.  I can also offer one-to-one tuition, if preferred. 


In my own compositional practice, I often use drawing as a starting point for getting ideas down quickly, and this lends itself well to encouraging children and adults with no previous composing experience to have a go at composing their own pieces. Drawing exercises free up creativity and can also, accidentally, offer up strong gestures which can be translated into sound. Graphic scoring can sometimes be the most appropriate notation for recording a composition, but all types of notation can be examined and developed.  Experimentation with instruments and voices, supported by relevant listening and score-reading, combine to equip students with the skills and knowledge required to make their own voices heard.


Recent workshops include:

Compose Yourself! WORKSHOP: Composing for Flute 21st October 2017
with flautist Rachel Shirley

This one-day workshop guided students through the process of composing a solo flute piece, following a similar model to my own working practice.  There were group activities as well as individual writing time, and plenty of opportunities to hear outcomes and make revisions as the pieces progressed. The day culminated with an informal performance and recording of all completed pieces. 

Feedback:

"Having Rachel's expertise and both your advice on communicating and notating our intentions was invaluable... I felt it was excellently prepared and appreciated the expertise both of you communicated"

"I enjoyed the whole day"

" I got a much better insight into the possibilities of the flute and enjoyed that we had the opportunity to listen to all pieces to finish off the day. I left uplifted and encouraged to write more and be less precious about it"

"The drawing technique and visualising how I wanted my piece to sound was really enjoyable [sic]. Also the fact that I was there and just had to do it. It opened up my creativity."

Compose Yourself! Composing classes
Weekly creative composing classes held at my home in Sheffield. Aimed at adult musicians with no previous composing experience but with some instrumental ability.  Classes are taught in blocks of six weeks, with a specific focus and writing task in each new block.

A Day With Platform 4
Music in the Round May Festival 2016 - Thursday 12th May, Crucible Theatre, Adelphi Room, Sheffield

  • Talk: How We Make Our Music
  • Composition Workshop: Come and Compose

Composing for Beginners - Fri 17 - Sun 19 Jun 2016
A short residential course at Benslow Music, Hitchin SG4 9RB