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rarescale summer school – a level 1 student's experience thumb

rarescale summer school – a level 1 student's experience

On a warm July morning, twenty one musicians descended on Harlaxton manor for five days of flute playing and composing at the annual rarescale summer school. An eclectic bunch, the flautists ranged from talented amateurs to music college graduates embarking on performing careers, and the composition group consisted of undergraduate music students and early career composers.

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Stylistic techniques music course thumb

Stylistic techniques music course

This Spring saw the launch of the Stylistic Techniques music course at the OCA. It’s a core unit designed for all music students and is intended to be approachable by post foundation course level students.

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Study visit review: Gamelan at the South Bank Centre, London thumb

Study visit review: Gamelan at the South Bank Centre, London

On 11 June, I took a group of enthusiastic OCA students to a Gamelan workshop at the South Bank Centre in London. This was a hands-on workshop, where we were able to try the instruments and rehearse a piece of music…

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Discovery and Collaboration thumb

Discovery and Collaboration

Whilst preparing a piece for the recent Composition Workshop, Jerry Mayle decided to pursue a slightly different path than what was originally called for. Jerry asked tutor Andy Glover-Whitley in advance about the possibility of making changes and he got more than he bargained for in the process…

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Finding New Paths – Part 2 thumb

Finding New Paths – Part 2

Following on from my previous blog post about using music technology to develop compositional skills and provide performance, I wanted to take a look at the situation from a slightly different angle. Composers with instrumentalist friends, or who can find or form ensembles to work with, can get works played, even if just to hear […]

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Finding New Paths – Part 1 thumb

Finding New Paths – Part 1

As many composition tutors will tell you, the key to developing properly as a composer is to be able to hear the music you are writing. This presents the distance learning student with a particular problem, namely, where to find performers. Students, writing for instruments they don’t play, have to be able to network in […]

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World premiere of 13 flute pieces by OCA students thumb

World premiere of 13 flute pieces by OCA students

It was a great honour to be invited to lead the first OCA Music Workshop on 12th November. The day focused on compositions for solo flute, and students were asked to submit short pieces which would be discussed during the workshop. A fantastic group of 16 music students descended upon the OCA’s Head Office in […]

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Contemporary Music – progress or … thumb

Contemporary Music – progress or …

Contemporary music can cause passionate enthusiasm in some and complete bafflement in others. For many, there remains a sense of dread, and an expectation of the ‘squeaky gate’ incomprehensibility that has become the new music stereotype. For the general public, classical music is a niche market, and within that, contemporary music has an even smaller […]

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