Review of Composing Matters: Music Teacher magazine

Composing Matters

Reviewed in Music  Teacher


I was not terribly optimistic that Patrick Allen would convince me that he had solved the Key Stage 3 composing problem where others before him had unfortunately failed. However my lack of enthusiasm was short lived as I began to study the content in detail, and it soon became clear that this is an excellent piece of work.


The pupil book is full of interesting composition projects using stimulus material, from poetry and story to pictures. Each composition project provides clear and useful suggestions relating to form and construction procedures, I have tested the projects with several classes from my school and the pupils show a high level of understanding, success and enjoyment. There are many new ideas offered and pupils respond well to the easy-to-understand instructions and text. Project 7. moods and feelings is certainly a memorable highlight.


In time this resource will hopefully find its way into most music departments, mainly because of its excellent projects. Teachers will save hours of preparation time by using the teaching notes in the Teacher’s Resource File and the frameworks and guidelines for assessment.


The CD Rom is brilliantly devised, including many examples of composition from a variety of sources, musical backings as MIDI and audio files for improving compositions, and even video clips as stimuli for composing.


Keith Hewson Music Teacher July 2003