Tuition In Music Technology

Tic is available for tuition in music technology. Follow this link for her Music Teachers Profile.

‘Through her gentle, insightful, humorous, yet always constructive and progressive methods Tic Ashfield rekindled my daughter’s interest in music the moment she started her first lesson.’ – O.Marcenaro

‘Tic has been teaching me for almost three years now and I cannot articulate how much she has helped me. Tic has helped me understand how operate intimidating software, how to create a high standard tracks and how to have patience when working with Sibelius. She always knows what I want with my music and she always knows how to help.

Tic has been instrumental, if you pardon the pun, in my music journey and I can’t thank her enough for giving me her time and passing on her invaluable knowledge. Genius!’Lily Beau

Music Workshop Leadership – Platformer

Music Workshop Leadership – A Bird In A Cage

A Bird In A Cage is a creative arts project centred around historical research and community based outreach produced by Winding Snake Productions. A menagerie of features within the project included music / design / creative writing and history workshops aimed at both junior and senior school pupils as well as a completed 20 minute animation. A Bird In A Cage focused on the life and work of the important women’s rights campaigner Lady Margaret Mackworth.

To find out more information regarding the extensive project and more about Lady Rhondda herself, please see the A Bird In A Cage website as well as visiting Winding Snake Productions.

During the course of A Bird In A Cage my involvement varied from workshop leader, musical arranger, composer, sound engineer and performer.

Included below are my workshop plans for both the junior and senior school workshops as well as a brief write-up of my experience of working within the role of workshop leader:

Bird In A Cage Junior Workshop Plan

Bird In A Cage Senior Workshop Plan

‘I was first approached by Amy at Winding Snake regarding the Bird In a Cage project a few months ago. As a composer it is such a wonderful opportunity to exchange some studio time with the opportunity to help young people create their own music. I remember experiencing music workshops as a kid. For me being introduced to music making at an early age was truly inspiring and I can only hope to offer the same experience to another young and aspiring musician.

Composing is a funny thing. Writing a song, a piece of music is something that many of us have tried to do. The task becomes far greater when asked to do so in front of a group of your peers. Again I recall being entirely unenthusiastic when faced with the idea of group composition whilst at school, however the students from both the junior and senior schools were outstandingly receptive. Musical ideas developed in an incredibly organic way, all of the young people involved were enthused and willing to contribute.

As the music workshops formed just a small section of a series of creative workshops the students were already familiar with both Amy and Lauren from Winding Snake and so their supportive presence was imperative. Furthermore, the format of the workshop series meant that many of the students had worked with creative writing workshop leader Mab Jones to create the prose from which the music was constructed. As a consequence the junior school pupils were already familiar with the text and were excited to see the sections of their work that had been incorporated into the finished product.

Working with the junior school pupils to create song-like musical ideas was a real pleasure. After warming up and getting everyone ready to sing the pupils split into groups and utilised their voices and their bodies to begin the process of understanding the intrinsic rhythmic qualities of the text. Finding rhythm in the words and being able to express the found rhythm vocally and through clapping came so naturally to all of them; many of the pupils took it upon themselves to start to aurally composing melodies before being prompted to do so. It really seemed as though there were a few naturally gifted budding musicians within the group! The students then went on to develop their rhythmic ideas using percussion instruments. It was so fascinating to see all of the individual creative ideas radiating from these young people, as well as such a vast array of musical influences; there were definitely a few future rock musicians lurking about!

These rhythmic ideas soon turned into lines of melody. Using felt tips and A3 paper the students were encouraged to, surrounding the text, express their sonic creative ideasthrough an artistic and visual medium. As a graduate of the RWCMD Creative Music Technology department the idea of graphic scoring is essential when attempting to understand the intricacies of organised and structured sound. When applied in this scenario it enabled the pupils to portray musical structures and textures through an entirely accessible format, essentially drawing the shapes they they feel express the music that they had created.

At the end of the workshop each of the individual groups performed their completed and well rehearsed pieces to the rest of their year. These performances were met with enthusiasm as all of the groups supported and acknowledged each othersʼ hard work. This performance session was followed by a recording session. All of the creative ideas were recorded to preserve the music that the students had composed. These recordings will be incorporated into an eventual sound score which will combine the work of all of the young people involved. It will serve as the sound score for the animation as well as providing the accompanying backdrop for a live performance of the completed choral work composed by the senior school girls.

The senior girlʼs school workshops were full of the same creativity. After running through choral vocal warm ups the girls tackled the task of composing to the text with vigor and musical flair. The idiom of impressionistic composition was suggested at the beginning of the process, yet other creative avenues were explored as the compositional process progressed. Using notational software and traditional keyboard composition skills the girls were fully engaged when working with the text. Complex harmonic ideas and mature melodic motifs were developed as the pupils worked within a collaborative group environment.

The workshop involved the school choir of which some incredibly talented young performers and composers were involved. This provided me with the opportunity and privilege of conversing with young musicians who were aspiring to take their musical studies further and I was able to discuss the prospect of conservatoire study with them. All of the young musicians engaged with the compositional process whole heartedly and this was evident when it came to the recording process. The girls performed their works under the strain of a typically time pressured recording session and responded to the situation with patience and maturity.

Once the initial creative ideas were captured I was able to go away and utilise these ideas to create a sketch of the choral work for the subsequent sound score. Instead of selecting a few of the more established ideas from the four groups that took part in the workshop I made the decision to employ all of the creative ideas developed by the students to create the piece. In terms of outcome this catalysed the composition of four distinct musical sections rather than a singular through composed idea; a suite. During the second of the two workshops I worked closely with the girlʼs music teachers teaching the new work to the students and recording the full four part harmony for utilisation in the final sound score. Again the students were incredibly receptive to this process and acted in a professional manner during the intensive recording process.

The question now is how to go about amalgamating all of these musical ideas and structures into one cohesive work? I intend to create an electronic score encompassing the idioms of electroacoustic composition, sound design and traditional notated score as well as spoken word. I will employ the graphic scores designed by both the junior and senior school pupils to assist the structural construction of the work. The voices of the students will meld together within the sound score to not only evoke the sentiment of the text but to also showcase the musical talents of the students themselves. This score will be used, as previously commented upon, to not only accompany the animation but to also be used within a performance context.

Working on this project has been an invaluable experience with a refreshing insight into the creative capabilities of the young mind. Hopefully you will enjoy the score and will be able to identify the way in which the score supports and personifies the animation itself.’