Over the past 20 years our Learning Team have produced fabulous resources to support teachers and young people in their creative music making. We would like to share some favourites from the archive with you.  

One Note Piece asked children to compose a short piece using just one note, and to use dynamics, articulations and other techniques to create musical expression.

“I used the One Note Composition with my Secondary PGCE Music Students. It was an excellent resource for enabling them to understand how children can be enabled to act expressively and creatively with minimal musical materials and within tightly drawn parameters. They found it challenging but stimulating when asked themselves to produce a composition themselves!”

Gary Spruce, Subject Leader for Music PGCE, Birmingham City University

Inspired by Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques, this resource is for teachers and supports them to plan activities to encourage children's exploration of the piece, and to create new music by paralleling some of the composer’s own composing processes: listening and transcribing bird song for musical instruments; varying them in different ways; thinking about how to structure the different musical materials.

Sequenza is a set of resources, designed for older students, to support composing for particular musical instruments. In them BCMG musicians demonstrate traditional and extended techniques and how to notate them, as well as give listening suggestions for each instrument. Here's an taste of one of them in which BCMG Saxophonist talks about the saxophone:

Brand new Learning Resources have been published twice a week during lockdown and we were delighted to hear they have been used widely – worldwide, actually! – from parents, teachers and young musicians.



“I thought I would send you a quick note to say how useful I have found the BCMG resources which were published and compiled last term.

I continue to use them in a variety of ways and with different students and settings. During the full lockdown and whilst delivering online 1:1 lessons with primary aged pupils, I was very keen to use open ended tasks which pupils could work on and develop throughout the week and we could build on this during the weekly online lesson. I found the 'Superhero Composition' and 'Borrow or Steal' particularly popular and very accessible.

I also work with National Youth Guitar Ensemble (NYGE) and similar to other organisation we have switched to an online model and we have found the need to supplement the ensemble part of the rehearsal with other musical activities which have included developing technique, flamenco music, performance classes and also creative composition. We normally rehearse at BMAG, so I was able to use the Birmingham skyline resource as a starting point for some creative composition.

Many thanks for producing such high-quality and accessible resources which I know will have been enjoyed by students in Birmingham and beyond.”

Adam Hickman, Deputy Head of Music Service, Birmingham

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