I love making resources for teaching music, especially teaching musical creativity (composition, songwriting, production, and so on) with and without technology. I share as many of these resources here on my website for free. And from time to time, my students at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (who are all pre-service teachers) also make and share learning resources, so you’ll find lots of links to those below, too!

Please feel free to use them. If you improve on them (or update the old ones!), I’d love to know ūüėć

The cover of the resource book we made for our song cycle The Weight of Light
The cover of the resource book we made for our song cycle The Weight of Light

The Paul Grabowsky Sibelius Education Kit (from 2006)

There’s a funny story about this one. Sibelius 5 had lots of cool things to show off. A new audio engine, the Ideas Hub, support for VST and AU plug-ins, a new view in Panorama, super-easy cues and much, much more. Here in Australia Sibelius went all out and commissioned a work from composer Paul…

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Sibelius 7 Music Notation Essentials (Book, no longer in print).

Because this book is no longer in print, I have made the resources and tutorial videos (which are still quite relevant to the current version of Sibelius) available here! There are plenty of second hand copies of the book available if you need one. Sibelius 7 Music Notation Essentials was the only official, Avid-endorsed course for‚Ķ

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Announcing the #SCMTME & MTeach Extension cohorts, 2022

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when I share my students’ websites with the world! We’re 11 weeks into my course MUED4002 Technology in Music Education at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and as usual we’ve learned lots of simple techy skills (audio and MIDI recording and editing, graphic creation, creative commons and notation‚Ķ

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Music Zettel S2E2 – Free Resources FTW

In the second episode of this micro-season of Music Zettel, I’m looking at projects undertaken in the stream of digital resources for teaching, learning, and music making, and the related content from my Unit of Study “Technology in Music Education” at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. We’ll look at a number of digital resources that‚Ķ

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Music Zettel Ep. 7 – Teaching like a musician

In this week’s podcast, I interview Brad Fuller, director of music at Northern Beaches Christian School, about his pedagogical approach to teaching the class that I described in Episode 6, where our undergraduate pre-service Music Teachers wrestle with jamming with chord-playing instruments that are totally new to them and the philosophy of the Creative Music‚Ķ

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Music Zettel Ep. 3 – Orff formula arrangements

This week’s episode is drawn from my first two lectures this semester in Composition in Music Education. We look at some of my own Orff-style arrangements and original compositions and discuss how these can be both a pedagogical and compositional model for teaching and learning. The resources I mentioned in this episode include: My Train’s‚Ķ

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Music Zettel Ep. 2 – Skills every music teacher needs

What are the musical skills that every classroom music teacher needs? I’ve been lucky enough to rewrite our first year #MusicEd courses this year, and I’ve focused first on the ability to teach a melody through imitation & chunking (musical definition coming up!); and in addition, this semester, on the ability to accompany songs on‚Ķ

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Learning Ukulele Diary 4 – my favourite songs with C, G, F, and Am

As mentioned in my second diary, the only difficult thing about playing the above 4 chords is the¬†change to and from G major, which has 3 fingers down, and in positions that aren’t necessarily similar to those in the C and F major shapes. And the best way I’ve found to practice the changes to‚Ķ

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Remixular bells

In this unit of work you will examine how Mike Oldfield built the opening of his seminal progressive rock work Tubular Bells. By following each step as instructed below, you will rebuild the work yourself, remix it, and then compose a new piece based on the original. Simply follow the process outlined as follows. Listening Learn‚Ķ

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Orff and aural learning-inspired arrangements by Sydney Conservatorium students

Every year at the Sydney Conservatorium I get to take one of my favourite courses,¬†Composition in Music Education. The first task, after reviewing a number of creative music pedagogies, is to create a “mixed-bag” arrangement (one that will work for any combination of instruments at all) with aural learning elements. Actually, I talk about the‚Ķ

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Technology in Music Education – 2018 cohort

This Friday brings one of my favourite events of the year at the Sydney Conservatorium – the Presentation of Learning for my¬†Technology in Music Education course. This year’s cohort is just as exciting as ever, and some students have really broken new ground. If you’re in Sydney this Friday from 5pm (probably until around 8pm),‚Ķ

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The Weight of Light (Song Cycle)

Australia’s participation in the war in Afghanistan is the nation’s longest ever military involvement. What happens when an Australian soldier, who is carrying a dark secret, is forced to confront the full force of the family that he left behind? Nigel Featherstone A song cycle commissioned by the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium of Music with The…

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Beat programming to iMovie on iPads

I’m teaching at the Sydney University Wingara Mura Bunga Barabugu summer camp for young indigenous Australian songwriters this week … today doing a workshop on drum programming on iPad apps, then sending to iMovie to use as TV show opening credits music … I made this cheat sheet that I thought I’d share for anyone‚Ķ

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Free and impressive #MusicEd digital resources from my 2016 #SCMTME cohort

Last Friday my students in the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Technology in Music Education course (from which my MOOC¬†Music in 21st Century Education came) gave their Presentation of Learning.¬†If you go to the Con’s Facebook page and scroll down to 18th November, you’ll see a series of “was Live” videos and can re-live the event!‚Ķ

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Songwriting in GarageBand with Musical Cryptography

I developed several units of work to go with my composition Passion for Symphonic Winds, and this electronic version has nothing to do with that work except that that’s where the interest in hiding messages in music began. Since I found it interesting, I thought my students would, and they’ve had a lot of success playing around‚Ķ

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#SCMtech educational iBooks go live – download them free!

Last week my Sydney Conservatorium of Music¬†Technology in Music Education¬†(#SCMtech) students handed in their main project, worth 50% of the course marks. It’s an interactive iBook, designed for elementary or middle school music education, but also you’ll find they’ve shared equivalent resources to be printed or burned onto CD for schools that don’t have iBooks‚Ķ

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Adventures in Project Based Learning part 2: back in the classroom

In my last blog I outlined some of what I learned from spending a week observing and even participating a little at High Tech High in San Diego last June. Naturally, the intention of such a big trip was not only to watch and document, but to give this process a go ourselves. And so…

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Music to Infinity – free education kit

Beginning this week, I‚Äôm off on the road with Ensemble Offspring for premiere performances of my¬†Cycles and Circles¬†in addition to a whole host of other contemporary (Australian) pieces including: Bree van Reyk ‚Äď Duet with Blindfold Graham Fitkin ‚Äď Cusp John Lely ‚Äď Distance Learning Joanna Baillie ‚Äď On and Off Matthew Shlomowitz ‚Äď Hi‚Ķ

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The Speaking Piano

I’ve just completed my fourth commission of the year, and I’m especially proud of this one. I’m going to blog only briefly on what it’s about, because you can learn everything by going to the website¬†www.composerhome.com/piano¬†anyway, but I thought I might also share a little of the process of making it here, because it has‚Ķ

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Kindle apps in education

This term at school we’ve been trying to run IT Pedagogy PD on a wide range of topics. I especially wanted to share how I’d learned to use the range of Amazon Kindle apps and their excellent annotation-to-the-cloud tools while researching my Ph.D. You might think it’s natural that Amazon would offer a free eBook‚Ķ

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#UWSMTeach Lecture 7

Blended and Online Learning Update: I’ve made a Facebook page for our class. You don’t have to use it, but it gives you an alternative to vUWS which I haven’t had admin access to at all this year, and is probably better for online discussion because it’s somewhere many of you live already. You can‚Ķ

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#UWSMTeach Lecture 5

This week we started with a reading exercise instead of the usual learning by copying or by rote. We used a transcription I’d made of the Penguin Caf√© Orchestra’s rather fabulous¬†Music for a Found Harmonium and discussed what our teaching strategies would be if we weren’t a group of twentysomethings (self excluded) who could already‚Ķ

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Stage 5 Film Project

I feel compelled to write about a unit of work just completed with a very talented stage 5 class despite the fact that I’m aware it wasn’t quite perfect. The reason for this is because it had so many good points that you can’t guarantee when you set out: self-motivated students, community and collaboration, a‚Ķ

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Avid Scorch for iPad in the classroom

Avid released their first iPad app only a few weeks ago, and it’s for my favourite ever software title – Sibelius. In fact, Avid Scorch is much, much more than a Sibelius file-reader for iPad. If it weren’t enough to be able to read and play back your Sibelius files, what about being able to‚Ķ

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Tutorial notes week 7 – and resources from the lecture

In the tutorial this week we created our own Wiki on the topic of music technology for education. After discussing how the structure of our Wiki would work, I demonstrated setting up the first few levels, and created a page on the Korg iElectribe for iPad. I then asked you each to create a page…

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Lecture notes week 7 – typed up on my iPad

I have a feeling that these lecture notes will be fairly skinny. It’s not that I’m being lazy or don’t have much to write. It’s that while it’s great that WordPress make a free iPad app for blogging, I think that it’s not really as fully featured as I need it to be. Anyway, let’s‚Ķ

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MLC’s Australian Music Day timeline website

Composer Damian Barbeler and web development company Firefly Interactive have combined to create an amazing new website to support MLC School’s Australian Music Day 2009. MLC School, where I am composer-in-residence along with Damian and Director of Composition Dr Paul Stanhope, has a great tradition of supporting Australian contemporary music not only through its three‚Ķ

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Learn Sibelius in 1 hour passes 5,000 hits in various locations

Well, I only ever intended it as a rough collection of videos made as soon as possible after Sibelius 6 came out to teach my students how to use it. The videos were recorded and edited in just a few hours (hence all the noise in the background, the umms and ahhs that give away…

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SixEightThreeFour

This piece is part of my Symphony of the Child, commissioned and premiered by the International Grammar School in Sydney in 2009. It uses alternating six-eight and three-four time signatures, like a Flamenco, and is perfect for middle school classes to perform. In this unit of work students move from performing the piece in class to‚Ķ

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