Piano (Grade 8)
Clarinet (Grade 8)
Bassoon (Grade 8)
Organ (Grade 6)
Low D Irish whistle
Acoustic guitar (mostly fingerstyle)
I have performed solo on all of these, as well as in orchestras, ensembles and bands (with Craig Pruess and Russell Stone, and Henry Marten’s Ghost), and accompanying instrumentalists (e.g. David Roth, former 2nd violin in the Allegri Quartet) and singers on piano
O level and A level music
Choral Scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford
BA (Hons) Oxon – Music: with a First for performance, and including specialist papers on Western song, and music analysis and composition.
PGCE (with Distinction) Leeds – Music & Drama: teacher training
MSc, Oxon – Educational Research Methodology: one year masters degree, followed by 2 years of doctoral research in education
Songwriting (NB my songs have been performed, published, and recorded)
Intermediate to Advanced
I work one-to one with people, and run groups. You can find out more at www.oxfordsongwriting.com.
Songwriting is a huge topic, and has many elements. You may want to work on:
- generating and developing musical ideas
- experimenting with different musical styles
- lyric writing
- working with different song structures
- arranging and writing for different combinations of instruments or voices
- learning how to write for the voice (lyrics or music)
- understanding the recording environment
- creating strong song titles, and a clear single focus (lyrically or musically) for a song
- different ways to notate your piece (conventional music notation, chord charts, lead sheets, schematics)
- developing compositional skills with harmony, melody, rhythm, instrumentation, incorporating sounds, word setting
There’s more than one way to learn songwriting, and we can start from where you are.
- You can receive songwriting exercises to help you learn specific skills in lyric writing, composing, and combining the two.
- You can learn through receiving feedback and guidance on song material (music or lyrics) that you bring to sessions.
- You will be guided to some of the best books and resources on songwriting.
- You will learn from the many great masters of songwriting, by studying and analysing their music and lyrics.
OXFORD SONGWRITERS MEETUP
- Do you want to develop your songwriting skills – as a lyricist, writer of music, or both?
- Are you interested in meeting like-minded songwriting enthusiasts?
- Do you want a mix of short presentations on different songwriting skills, in-depth analysis of well-known songs, hearing each others’ song and lyrics, constructive critique and ‘masterclassing’ of meetup members’ songs, songwriting exercises to do individually and in pairs or small groups, socialising and networking with other songwriters?
- Do you want an environment of mutual trust and respect where you can safely be a ‘naked songwriter’ and openly share your songs and ideas and receive constructive feedback about them – from listeners, other songwriters and a songwriting mentor?
- Do you ever struggle with writer’s block?
- Are you looking to meet potential songwriting collaborators and partners?
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