Thursday, January 28, 2010

Haberdashers Monmouth School for Girls

Haberdashers Monmouth School for Girls enjoys an outstanding academic reputation but it is also justifiably proud of its national and international sporting and musical achievements.
Its excellent facilities include a sixth form centre, science laboratories, music rehearsal and recording studio, indoor pool, sports hall and all-weather pitch. Here’s a photo of the striking main buildings:
Haberdashers School for Girls
I initially spoke to a large Year 8 class and spoke about being a composer, with lots of music examples, some of which involved students coming up to play. It was a fun session and I think the girls enjoyed it!
Then I had a group of GCSE students and they expressed nervousness about writing their own compositions. So I decided to get a number of students to come up and start an idea off (at the piano) and I then showed them how you could take a short melodic idea (one was 2 notes!) or a rhythm or a bit of text and make a composition from it. My chief assertion was that they should stop trying to write one perfect piece and instead write lots of pieces so that it became less of an obstacle to progress. We touched on the three fundamentals of composition:

Getting started

This was a most enjoyable session and I think the girls went away more confident in their ability to come up with ideas and develop them quickly and spontaneously.

1 comment:

Alice said...

You're so right about writing lots of pieces -- I used to get stuck trying to write that perfect choral piece, complete with modulations, descants, reharmonizations, fugal sections, a coda, etc...what counts is getting something done! (It can always be revised later.)