The I Can Compose Story
Two and a half years ago the I Can Compose website went live. As a secondary classroom music teacher in the UK, I had a particular passion for delivering composing lessons and helping students create their own music. No composing lesson is ever the same – what you plan for one class might end up going in a completely different direction with another group. I thrive on that variety and creativity.
Searching for resources to enhance my lesson plans, I found that there was a lack of any quality materials to help students and teachers with composing music. So I set up the kind of website my 15 year old self (and slightly older teacher self!) would have loved: friendly, detailed online courses with plenty of clear examples and exciting musical examples to listen to. Although we launched with just a handful of courses, the website evolved quickly to include a dedicated Teachers’ Area and an increased offering of courses for students.
After just five months I was thrilled to win the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs and shortly after, the Outstanding Music Education Product in the 2019 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence. These accolades reflect the unique platform that brings high-quality composing resources to students and teachers.
Support for distance learning
In March 2020, when the world went into lockdown and schools closed across the globe, I wanted to support teachers and students suddenly faced with teaching and learning from home. In just three weeks, over 7,000 free courses were given away from Egypt to Florida, New Zealand to Switzerland, to provide guidance for students composing at home.
The I Can Compose mission is to inspire and educate the next generation of great composers and this underpins everything I do. I’m excited about what’s coming next in 2021 and beyond (see below).
This year I have been working on a new book: How to teach composition in the secondary classroom: 50 inspiring ideas will be published by HarperCollins in May 2021 and is available to pre-order now.
The I Can Compose Story through interviews and media
In this post I’ve collated some interviews and articles that really tell the story of I Can Compose.
I recently chatted to Founder Facts, an organisation that shares interviews and case studies with new and established business owners for a deeper insight into the practical, real world nature of entrepreneurship. It was a great opportunity to reflect on the journey I’ve been on to launch an online music platform. There are some really inspiring stories from other entrepreneurs on the website – well worth a look!
During the summer it was exciting to be interviewed by Scarlet Russell for my first ever podcast – the Sunday Times Style Magazine Podcast – Secrets of the Side Hustle. Given that the UK had just come out of lockdown #1 and I’d been home-schooling my two children for four months, it felt like an opportunity to get re-energised about I Can Compose. We discussed women in business, disability, music education and much more!
TiME is an alliance of Music Industry Organisations, Educators and Practitioners in the UK, dedicated to ensuring that the great potential of Music Technology and Production is realised in education.
I recently chatted to Kate Rounding, Development Director for TiME about the need for accessible resources for students to use in school and at home and the future plans for I Can Compose.