What makes a good melody?

I’ve been teaching some year 5 classes about melody recently, helping them to realise that good melodies don’t just happen by accident. It’s not that composers slavishly follow rules to compose memorable tunes, because most of the time, a good melody does present itself as if my magic. But there are certain truths I suspectContinue reading “What makes a good melody?”

The Gifts of the Pandemic

I was asked this morning what I consider to be the gifts to myself of the pandemic and resultant lockdowns this year. A strange question, to be sure. But not a ridiculous one. Many of us have found something important this year – maybe something we’d forgotten, or lost, has been rediscovered – like aContinue reading “The Gifts of the Pandemic”

A John Williams Score for Every Year of My Life – 1975 Jaws

It has to be done. Whilst I am a great fan of the other score of 1975 which Williams wrote for “The Eiger Sanction”, I couldn’t not devote this blog entry to the stroke of absolute mastery which is Jaws. As a teacher, I often use the theme from Jaws to illustrate how composers useContinue reading “A John Williams Score for Every Year of My Life – 1975 Jaws”

What’s in a lyric?

Well if you want to live, hear the warning I give,And don’t you go to Castle DraculaYoung man, lend me an ear, don’t go anywhere nearAnd please don’t go, sir please don’t go I write musicals. Musicals for performance by Primary aged children. But I happen to think that even if the music and lyricsContinue reading “What’s in a lyric?”

Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Can’t, Teach

I remember when I was a young aspirational primary school teacher, fresh out of university, being told this by an old gentleman. I was outraged to say the least. So after 25 years in the profession, what are my thoughts nowadays? Is there any truth to this old saying? Well, in one sense, there is.Continue reading “Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Can’t, Teach”