Were I even halfway concerned about my audience (rather than this entire blog being largely a vanity exercise) I would open with a meaningful apology for my recent absence. The only issue with such an opening gambit is that I’m really not sorry at all. I’ve been rather busy. However, I have few things to share with you. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m founding a school. Not that I really have that much to teach to established musicians, but I’d like to work with those who are a bit younger and less fixed in their ways.
I want to teach them about music theory – that boring exam everyone who wants to go from good to great must pass at one point or another.
Yes, I’m going to get all self-promotional and a touch ranty for a moment, but this is important to me.
Music education is a difficult balancing act between artistic development and summative assessment. By this, I mean that different people develop at different rates and have differing strengths which require addressing on an individual basis. Sticking every pupil through the same exam is a valid way of normalising progress and setting a bar to be reached.
My problem is just that. We set the test around those things that are easier to assess – performance, listening skills, memorising scales and reading music from the page at first sight. These things tend to be right or wrong – binary choices we can score against a total. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s a funny thing. I wrote a new song for a vicar in West Brom and I can’t get over how much fun it was to hear it sung.
The song was tough to get done, but it was easier than free composition in many ways because I was working to a specific brief and those limitations gave rise to a more ordered creative process for me.
Read the rest of this entry »