Some footage of the workshops that I worked on all last week- we were lucky to work with some amazingly talented individuals!!
I have been working on a music project organised by (Learning Skills Council funded) Gigbeth festival. We are assisting young Brummies with music compositions that are to be showcased in the opening ceremony on Digbeth High St- 1st November. We were set the task of producing a quality end product, preferably several in just 4 days! It has gone by super fast and really well! I have been buzzing off the local talent that have wowed us all with their musical finesse and great attitude. Everyone did well 🙂
Hopefully I will have some videos and mp3s that you can upload in the next couple of days.
Tomorrow I shall be attending the Gigbeth conference held at quite a posh hotel. I am really looking forward to the music education part, speakers include:
Fyfe Dangerfield (Guillemots),
Janice Long (BBC Radio),
Sheryl Garratt (Elle and Red),
Rich Castillo (Shalit Global),
Marc Jaffery (Music Manifesto), – never heard this chap speak before, (I heard that he has recently left the Music Manifesto) but hopefully he will be an inspirational speaker.
Ian Chamings (Mixalbum),
Andrew Dubber (New Music Stratgies),
Maggie Crowe (BPI and BRIT School),
Mark Meharry (Music Glue),
Alexis Grower (Magrath LLP),
Clive Gardiner (We7),
Andrew Senior (British Council) and more.
I shall keep you updated and might take along mi camera.
I work as a piano teacher and music leader.
I teach piano at beginner and intermediate levels. I incorporate classical and popular styles of playing in my classes. I also include basic improvisation; keeping lessons fun, fast paced and insightful.
I deliver workshops that focus on creative ensembles, composition, social media and music technology. My workshops are bespoke; nearly always tailored to meet the needs of the client.
Work (Click on each title for media)
I worked with year 5 students at St. James School Handsworth to write music inspired by the photography of Vanley Burke. We explored roots reggae music, and how different reggae ‘riddims’ were used for different functions including voicing injustice. School children wrote original lyrics and melodies inspired by Africa Liberation Day 1977. Holyhead School under the leadership of Sid Peacock and Toni Greham were our backing band, and rehearsed roots reggae riddims the children chose. Together I directed the performance for family and members of the public at the mac arts centre.
Paganel School – Scalectrix Project Summer term 2011
I delivered social media and music workshops to year 6 primary school students based on the scalectrix project; together we blogged about the developments and composed original soundtracks for the racing day using music technology software.
Hodge Hill School – Birmingham, Spring – Summer term 2010
I worked with students at Hodge Hill to devise original pieces and develop ensemble work. Over 40 students subscribed to the session, (which was a pleasant surprise, as the following year there were only 10 participants, word of mouth from the previous cohort saw a massive jump in numbers). Young people created their own pieces using instruments and voice and developed performance skills.
I worked with creative practitioner Chris Bishop to raise self-awareness in students at Paganel School. We explored the notion of home and identity as the school wanted the young people to learn about their community and its history. We worked with year 3 and 4 to support work leading to a performance at Weoley Castle during “Home week”. I lead sessions facilitating young people’s compositional skills using classroom percussion, songwriting. I also directed a live ensemble to accompany the songs and performance, which received great feedback from the school head teacher.
As lead Artist I worked with three primary schools in Handsworth (St. James, Watville and Wilkes Green), facilitating creative ensemble music making working in partnership with teachers. Participants experienced live music performances in the City by each of the partner organisations and gave concerts of their own at some of Birmingham’s most internationally renowned venues. I was responsible for leading all three schools through performances at CBSO centre and Town Hall, I arranged, accompanied and directed participants, facilitating and supporting their music writing skills.
Fast Forward – All Change – October 2009 – March 2010
I worked on a multi-arts project for young people who live in estates managed by Homes for Islington (aged between 13 – 19). Its aims were to develop creative arts skills and engage hard to reach young people. I led sessions on song-writing using music technology; I worked with a group of 14-18 years helping facilitate the creation of music tracks, lyrics and performance preparation. The youth centre manager noted a change in attitude and an increase in attendance to the centre during this time. The project culminated in a dance, visual arts and music performance piece at Sadler’s Wells Theatre March 2010.
Camden Crossroads – Create Arts – November 2009 – December 2009
I worked as a music technology facilitator to deliver six half-day music technology workshops for 18 young carers between the ages of 11 and 17. Using the theme of Hopes, Dreams and Identity, the young people were encouraged to express their likes/dislikes, their views on the world and their hopes for the future. The music tracks were compiled onto a Young Carers Album, copies of which were presented to each of the participants.
Dreams and Nightmares was a creative composition project for Year 5 students at Osmani primary school. Exploring a range of themes using dreams and nightmares as stimulus, participants created original compositions inspired by their own dreams, stories and artwork. I led sessions where year 5 students wrote songs, used classroom percussion and toys (suitable noisy toys from home) to create music that represented an element of their subliminal journey. We also used music technology to record sound bytes or words/phrases from their creative work onto an MP3 recorder. I was responsible for post production; piano accompanying and helping to direct the performance.
Merstone School – Solihull Creative Music project June – July 2009
I worked with 10 groups of young people who had profound learning difficulties including autism, physical disabilities, speech impediments and hearing impediments. We worked together to write original songs based on national curriculum subjects/topics studied that term and developed team building skills.
Dreaming with your feet – Spitalfields Music Apprentice Animateur Scheme June 2009
As part of Spitalfields Music’s playing fields project the City of London Sinfonia joined forces with pupils from Halley Primary School to perform their own original compositions alongside well-known orchestral works including Bartok’s Rumanian Dances. I worked with a team of animateurs to help participants devise songs, as well as composing and arranging a song for the school and chamber orchestra. One of my biggest achievements was writing an orchestral score which received a great reception from performers and audience.
I worked as one of 3 lead artists on an exciting intergenerational music and heritage project, where I worked with the elderly (from a local residential home) and primary school students. We worked to devise new music and lyrical ideas inspired by the heritage of Castle Vale – a recently regenerated area. The stimulus for the project was oral history, using interviews and dialogue and turning them into melodic and rhythmic ideas for our final piece. I played piano for the final performance and prepared participants for performance.
Creative Big Band Sessions – (Birmingham Jazz) December ’08 – April ‘09
I worked with students at Hodge Hill School to compose original songs performed at the CBSO centre. I was also a support artist for their big band sessions.
Respect Music Mentoring Programme -Youth Music (Sound Futures Birmingham) July ’08 – August ‘09
I worked as an adult mentor at College High School in Great Barr Birmingham. I was responsible for providing support and guidance to a group of teenage mentees. I also facilitated the development of their music skills including music technology and songwriting skills. I also worked as a music mentor in a youth inclusion project, in Shard End, working with kids with severe behavioural issues, again using music mentoring to reassess life choices.
Pipe Up – Town Hall Symphony Hall (THSH) June 2008
I worked as a trainee artist on a project based upon the organ in Coventry Cathedral. We used technology in fun, innovative ways to inspire children and young people to explore music, the arts and their own imagination! We recorded organ and other quirky sounds collected from Coventry cathedral and modified them to make a soundtrack.
I worked with orchestral member Mark Goodchild from City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra as lead artist on a creative project based on Holst’s ‘The Planets’. “Gifted and Talented” music and English students wrote and performed 5 original planet themed compositions.
Creative Big Band Sessions – Birmingham Jazz March ’08
I worked with students at Hamstead Hall School to create an ensemble that composed original songs to be performed at the CBSO centre. I was also a support musician for the Birmingham Jazz Youth Sessions; advising and supporting young people with their playing, tuning, warming up etc.
Respect Music Mentoring Programme -Youth Music (Sound Futures Birmingham) March ‘07- March ‘08
I worked as an adult mentor to help 6 young people at risk of anti-social behaviour to develop their social skills through one to one mentoring. I also prepared them for peer mentoring. I used music technology, music theory and performance skills to help young people improve their behaviour in school and home with excellent results, teachers noted behavioural changes in classroom and allowed a student to participate on an away trip for the first time in 2 years.
Beatheadz Project – (Birmingham Looked After Children Education Service) 12-13th Feb ‘08
As project manager, I worked with young people in care to develop confidence, self-esteem and to learn how to compose their own music using Garageband. Young people created tracks in just two morning and were proud of the quality of their work.
Music Project – James Brindley School, Dovedale Campus 31st October- 6th March 2008
I worked with 3 groups of year nine students with varying spectrums of autism to create beats and improve songwriting skills using Garageband and Reason music software.
I worked as a part of a group of 3 lead artists leading a group of 14-18 year olds in Handsworth to create a new work for Gigbeth festival. We used Garageband and practical activities to help participants with their songwriting and performance skills.
Bass Culture Project – Foxford Community Arts School Coventry- 13th September- 20th December 2007
I was project manager and one of four music leaders in ‘Bass Culture’ music project which gave participants a broad historical journey of black and urban music. The workshops were interactive and practical. Participants had the opportunity to develop compositional skills using a variety of practices such as MIDI, notation, improvisation and music software packages. I led sessions using technology and improvised funk jams on instruments exploring scale and chord patterns.
Summer Beats – 610 Youth and Community Centre, Kingstanding 13th- 26th August 2007
I project-managed a 2 week music project at 610 Centre with 2 other music practitioners to lead workshops on black and urban music styles. We composed original songs as a rock band and used Reason and Logic Pro music software for speed garage and hip-hop compositions.
Songwriting Project -Archbishop Ilsley School April ‘07- July ‘07
I worked with “Gifted and Talented” students to help encourage them to study music at GCSE level. We developed music and creativity skills through use of music technology, composition and performance. The head of music noted an increase in confidence for students that positively effected their music studies and performance.
Music workshops – Perry Beeches Secondary School April ‘07- July ‘07
At that time, the school did not have a music teacher, so I helped to teach Key Stage 3 music concepts through workshops/lessons each week. I taught year 8 and 9 students the relevance of music in media and about form and structure through song writing.
SS John and Monica RC School April- July 07’
I worked with my old primary school to help teach Key Stage 2 music students exploring and developing listening skills, coordination, controlling sounds through singing and playing, creating and developing musical ideas through composition.
Creativity Through Limitation Flying Start Course Assessed Workshop November 2006
I worked with a group of 15 participants to facilitate their compositional skills by simply using everyday items. We used cardboard, cereal packets, bottles and items in the room to make original compositions. The group learned about basic note values and how to notate them using a graphic notation chart I created. Participants were encouraged to explore the different textures and sounds of their instruments. The workshop ended with a group performance.
Music Improvisation Workshop, Flying Start course Assessed workshop Jan 2007
I facilitated a collaborative workshop with a team of 4 community artists to engage learners with the principals of the water cycle – a Keystage 2 topic. After recapping on the basic principals of evaporation, condensation, precipitation and collection we split into small groups, and I led a music improvisation exercise. Participants were encouraged to depict the 4 main elements of the water cycle through sound. Using a simple graphic notation chart participants wrote down symbols as a loose reminder for their improvised parts. Through sound participants investigated the sounds, textures and images with noises made from their bodies. The project ended with a performance of their improvisation in front of the group.
Symphony Hall Taster Workshop – C21 Vox 24th April – 29th April ’03
My first job as a community musician entailed working on three-day project working with 12 young people from Birmingham. We were one of the first groups to use the new music technology suite at Symphony Hall. I led songwriting sessions with 5-7 year olds creating original music and lyrics.
Ariba Ariba, Andale, Andale!!! Speedy Gonzales by Stowe Boyd
I have been running round delivering and learning lots, what with the end of summer term at school, applying for jobs, sorting work for September, Street Athletics, getting onto an exciting trainee animateur programme run by Spitalfields Festival and being in the later stages of learning to drive, my head feels as though it’s about to melt.
Driving- yep after years of resistance, and faux ‘I’m a global warrior’ BS, I am having lessons. I wish I had continued them when I was 18, cos, it was a lot easier back then. Why? Because now, when I see kids and push chairs I get scared, when I see cats in the street; palpitations galore. It’s must be my mummy gene coming through.
My teacher expressed his concerns about why I wasn’t progressing as fast- once I hit intermediate level. We found 3 reasons: 1. Mentally, I channel negative images, and the language I use is: I don’t want to…. I need to kill my speed etc. I would end up doing things I didn’t want to. No accidents mind you!
2. I love the process, and discussing the pedagogy of teaching with my instructor so haven’t focused on passing. 3. I don’t really see myself as a driver, I’m happy using public transport- (well apart from my clothes smelling of weed if I sit upstairs and being subjected to distorted mp3s) – so again haven’t been focusing on the gold chain!
You’re might just probably be thinking to yourself, ‘Why on earth is she bothering to learn then?’. Well, it’s for professional reasons, and it would allow me greater access to working in rural areas. Also DJing malarky. Also, IF, I got a car- it would run it on gas or summat eco-friendly.
MediaSnackers: I am a MediaSlacker! Well, the title is self- appointed 😉
I am having bundles of fun travelling around the UK, enjoying viewing the beautiful countryside- I have seen baby rabbits!
I’ve been working with young digital journos, this week I embarked on helping DK and Mark train youth professionals. I certainly have a lot to learn, and am keen to put my own stamp on sessions. I was more nervous than I anticipated the first time I had to present, but, second time round was a lot easier. I chatted too much and should have let the applications speak for themselves. Learning, learning- confidence will grow.
I have also been asked to blog for Gigbeth! (Link down at the moment- it’s Birmingham’s most diverse music festival) Yay! My first professional blogging job- which was unexpected.
Anyways, I shall be commenting on music education and local community music projects so watch this space!
“The creative path leading to self-fulfillment and confidence, is an interminable process of trial and error”.
I’ll be tagging:
Antonio Gould– Executive Producer for 4Pioneers
Clare Edwards– Runs Gigbeth- A diverse music festival set in Brum
Synergy- Pioneers of participative media and social networking in education
Yemisi Blake– London based writer and performer
Andrew Dubber– Brum based big thinker on the developments of online music
Music generated from workshops I have (worked as a team or sole handedly) delivered.
Gigbeth project that showcased some of Handsworth’s talent
Mashed it up, with a funky beat, collaborating MCs and some blazing rhymes.
A heart-breaking tune. Sad lyrics.
Really beautiful, conscious wifey tune.
Some raw, meaty rhymes!
One of my favourite tunes of the project. Beautiful strings and velvety MCing.
Birmingham Looked After Children Education Service Easter 2008
We used Logic Express to quickly write some tracks in 2 mornings! Using a mixture of apple loops and MIDI.
CBSO Planets Project- Holyhead School
Compositions inspired by Holst’s “The Planets” Suite.
Live versions at Town Hall- June 2008 (Very Echoey)
Live versions. There were lots of nerves and good performances. Everyone did really well!
Check the female vocals!!
Cuts in late- couldn’t reach my digital recorder in time!
Hamstead Hall School – Birmingham Jazz:
Most students had never played in a group before, or improvised, they performed their piece at the CBSO centre. Some rehearsal audio:
Spitalfields Music Apprentice Animateur Projects:
Dazzling Dreams and Nasty Nightmares – Osmami School, Tower Hamlets, London
Osmani primary composed original songs based on dreams and nightmares, music tech, singing, percussion. I played piano, was responsible for music tech elements and helped young people write songs.
Dreaming with your Feet
Halley Primary school sang a song I composed especially for them about bee dances, accompanied by City of London Symphonia.
Shard End Youth Inclusion Project
Messing with beats and rhymes (Strong Language, tongue in cheek)
Work with Young Carers in Islington
Audio from Islington’s Estates:
Paganel School’s Home Project (Year 3/4)
Percussion cloud Piece:
Rehearsal Material from Watville School – Rainforest Song (Apologies for shouting ‘Pattern!!’ and ‘Actions!’, several times… We mess up and get back on track again)
Year 5 teacher is close to the mic
As a free lance muso cash flow is a incessant hurdle that I am slowly getting used to. In my last post I gushed about looking forward to half-term and having a much needed break. However, I am a slave to the dollar which means this has been postponed. I am now one of three lead musicians delivering a Gigbeth project in Handsworth. I shall be using Garageband to make beats with young people:) Although I have a copy, I use Logic Pro more and have been told by lots of people how easy it is to pick up, I had never really used it to make music until this afternoon that is. I am spending a lovely summer autumn day writing Latin inspired beats. It took 20 mins to get round it!!
According to a trusted friend of mine, Apple now do a deal where you pay £80 a year which lets you go in for an hour’s tuition on anything software related whenever you want, its really useful and the creatives are really good apparently.
I am also getting closer to attaining my dream of working with an organisation that I have admired since 12 to deliver an exciting music project. I won’t say who they are until it is concrete, but, I am becoming slightly more excited!