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Music

Getting the most out of your learning log

By | Creative Writing, Education, Film, Fine Art, Music, Photography, Textiles, Visual Communications

One of the key components in developing your learning log or blog is visual analysis – looking at, selecting and recording the artists/photographers who you find interesting, challenging or useful in progressing your work. The more you document and reflect upon those creative practitioners who have had a ‘marmite effect’ on you, the more you will improve both your critical thinking and creative skills.

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Student Work: Helmuts Feldmanis

By | Music, Student Work

Early in 2015 I wrote the WeAreOCA blog ‘Go on, get it played!’ about the advantages of students gaining knowledge through collaborations. These experiences are often crucial in developing orchestration skills and a personal compositional voice. Recently, OCA music student Helmuts Feldmanis got in touch about one of his recent collaborations.

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Another Pin Falls! Peter Maxwell Davies: A Personal Remembrance

By | Music

His legacy will last and his works will remain in the repertoire, unlike many of today’s composers when they ‘shuffle of this mortal coil’. The world is a great deal poorer today for his loss. I have lost the soundtrack to my life, and a dear friend through his music. Rest in peace Max.

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Remote collaborations: Atlantic Fusion

By | Music, Student Work

One of the many benefits of the rapid pace of technological advancement in music software, and of the internet, are the increased possibilities open to collaborating creatively from remote locations; creating music with people that have never even physically met!

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Composing and winged horses

By | Creative Writing, Education, Fine Art, Music, Photography, Student Work, Textiles, Visual Communications

As an OCA tutor, one of the most fascinating parts of my job is reading through Learning Logs and seeing how different people approach the various challenges and concepts that the courses present. I have always felt that teaching is a two-way process, and that a good teacher can learn from their students, especially in terms of seeing things from different perspectives.

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Classical music composers?

By | Music

Recently I was working on the History aspect of the forthcoming Foundations in Music course and realised that more Baroque composers seem better known today than those of the following Classical period (c.1750-1827). Whenever I have received work from students it often contains the usual culprits of the Classical age and so this blog is written in a hope to shine a light on some of the other great names of this period. With some research and listening, students will realise just what an innovative period it was in the history of music.

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Pierre Boulez: A personal appreciation

By | Music

When one of your musical heroes dies, a man that you have looked up to and admired for decades passes away, it is bad enough, but it seems much harder hitting and devastating when that person was the last of…

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About the length of a piece of string

By | Education, Film, Fine Art, Music, Photography, Textiles, Visual Communications, Writing

How hard are you supposed to be working? Over the last 3 – 5 years at the Open College of the Arts there has been what could almost be described as a revolution in the proliferation of ways for students to interact with each other, see each other’s work and discuss their courses.

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