Group Composition Workshops

Composition workshops are always based around the ideas of the participants.  They can be tailored to any age group, any size of group and any combination of instruments.  I will generally start with exploratory activities and improvisation before moving into something with a more definite objective in mind.  The stimulus, or starting point, for a composition will always be decided by the group, and could be any of the following:
  • a story
  • a picture or series of pictures
  • dance or movement
  • a rhythmic or melodic pattern
Where appropriate I will provide a structure for the composition, such as breaking the story up into sections, or providing a chorus or 'theme tune' to link the different episodes of the piece.  Larger groups may be divided up to work on their own compositions, or to provide sections of a larger composition involving everybody.

SOME EXAMPLES

Holiday courses for young people in Greenwich and Lewisham.  Themed compositions involving the whole group (often up to 50 or more children) in which different groups of children each contributed their own sections to the overall composition.  Themes and structures included: A Journey; Animals; a collection of pictures; the number 5; a drone; a scale or note row; and many others.

Playing Together Day for the Every Child a Musician project in Newham (pictured, right).  One of the pieces we devised and performed on this day was a 'journey' composition.  This had a prepared theme which we used as a 'chorus' throughout the piece.  In between the choruses, each instrumental group contributed its own episode, describing a specific scene or location. 


Olympic Fanfare.  A piece created by about 30 young musicians from the ECaM project, using a short theme as a starting point, and performed at the ceremony to welcome the Olympic flame to Newham in summer 2012.

For more examples of past projects and workshops, in this or other fields, please click here


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