Teachers, Composers and Researchers discuss composition in the curriculum

Listen Imagine Compose

Listen Imagine Compose is a partnership project with Sound and Music and Birmingham City University. Beginning in 2010 the project consisted of a series of symposia and action research projects. These projects took place in schools in Birmingham, Harpenden, London, Cambridge and Macclesfield and investigated six key questions relating to teaching composition at Key Stage 3 and 4. Themes included: evaluation and effective feedback; creative strategies for teaching composition; the role of listening in the creative process; introducing young people to unfamiliar aesthetics; creative use of technology; and, how expert composers and performers can be most effectively used in the classroom. Each project team consisted of an experienced teacher, a composer and a music education researcher.

As a result of the project there is now a dedicated website which can be accessed here which holds the research and resources to date and details of the CPD offered through the project.

A summary of the final report is now available to download from the link on the right hand side of the page, as is the full report.

Fundamental to the success of the partnership has been the meticulous manner in which the projects have been planned and evaluated by all parties. In the latest project, Listen, Imagine, Compose, one third of the project time was devoted to the learning needs and professional development of the participating adults. Consequently, this partnership has played a significant part in improving the musical and educational understanding of professional musicians, teachers and academics.

Mark Phillips, HMI Music

Working with schools through the BCMG has made me a better composer – and it’s also improved my teaching and lecturing work in higher education, too. I need to think about the composing process more analytically so that I can show students how music works and can be made to work, to develop their curiosity – and this is different to lecturing them about how I or other composers have worked.

David Horne, Composer