Today I'm delighted to publish my first book: How to Teach Composition in the Secondary Classroom – 50 Inspiring Ideas.  From how to establish a creative environment to teaching melody-writing and circle of fifths, this book is packed with ideas, tips and activities to deliver engaging composing lessons.  My aim was to present a handbook of ideas for teachers at any stage of their careers, to develop and adapt in their own classrooms.

Book overview

How to teach Composition in the secondary classroom presents 50 creative ideas to support every aspect of composing in secondary schools.

The ideas are concise, easy to implement and tackle everything from starters and plenaries, inspiration and project ideas to composition techniques, technology and assessment. This practical handbook provides fresh and inspiring ways to invigorate composition in the classroom and beyond.

How to order

How to teach composition in the secondary classroom: 50 inspiring ideas is published by HarperCollins  and is available to order from the HarperCollins website.


“Shapey’s ideas are crafted to engage and inspire students, embed intertextual discussions, and, perhaps most importantly, produce compositions which learners can be proud of.”

Music Teacher Magazine Review

“This book is bursting at the seams with practical, tried-and-tested classroom activities for supporting students in their composing development. The ideas are simple to read and offer enough flexibility to be adaptable to any situation. If you’re looking for support with composition teaching, this resource will be your go-to!”

Dr Kirsty Devaney, Composer, Researcher and Educator

“50 inspiring ideas is much more than a collection of composition briefs. The book presents a carefully scaffolded plan for developing learners’ creative faculties, musical ear, and, through these skills, knowledge of theory and instrumentation. Shapey is placing creativity back at the heart of the music curriculum, where it belongs.”

Dale Wills, Music Teacher at Marlborough College

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