Music Theory – “Core” or “Chore”?

May 1, 2014

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.

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Notable development

March 22, 2014

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 »


The Theology of Christian Worship Music

November 8, 2012

Could somebody explain the purpose and underlying theology of music in contemporary church worship? It strikes me I’ve been doing it for a couple of decades and although I kind of get it by instinct, I have little real understanding. Read the rest of this entry »


Experiment in random exposure…

February 14, 2012

… not a photography thing, nor something illegal in any town within Her Britannic Majesty’s Commonwealth. Read the rest of this entry »