What an absolute privilege and a joy it is to support and inspire younger artists. In the particular case of Henry, featured above, his mother originally contacted me to ask for help. He was keen to progress as a musician but struggling with it as a subject in school. She was concerned he would give up altogether.
The good news is that he went on to study music technology and continues to make music.
Sound For Picture
Bath-Based film company Suited & Booted hired me to work with their students at Wiltshire College in Chippenham. There, we worked together to create soundtracks for their films. The process mainly involved steering the trainees’ own explorations: getting them to focus on the purpose of the soundtrack and its relationship to the images.
A few years ago, a Local Education Authority, in Wiltshire, was trialling the (then) new, government-introduced Diploma in Creative Arts. They were keen to get local artists involved and I was invited to take part. It seemed like an excellent opportunity to provide pupils with an experience that went beyond ‘normal’ classroom learning.
In the event, there was probably more consultation than delivery. However, some pupils did produce excellent results. They worked in Garage Band, which was ubiquitous in schools and colleges at the time. This was a really useful tool, as it enabled them to focus on composition, without the need for a high level of musical ability.
Working with pupils on songwriting projects has been fascinating. Sometimes, often after initial reluctance, the outcome can be jaw-dropping. The youngsters discover for themselves what an excellent medium for self-expression song can be. And then the floodgates open!