Compose to Teach, Compose to Learn

Building on last year’s success, Compose to Teach, Compose to Learn is back; an exciting introductory composition workshop brought to you by Music Literacy Ireland in collaboration with Ailbhe McDonagh.

The workshop will introduce you to the basics of composition with a focus on composition for pedagogy. You will be guided, step by step, through writing a composition, while being equipped with tools to continue composing after the workshop. Ailbhe’s approach reduces the fear that often comes with thinking about composing for the first time.

You will learn: 

  • How to start a composition
  • Ways to capture the character in your composition
  • How to compose a single line melody and consider accompaniment
  • The importance of harmonic and phrase structure

Having had time to absorb all the information from day 1, you will have the opportunity to return on a second day to get feedback on your composition.

The aim of the workshop is twofold:

  • To encourage music teachers to compose because they want to
  • To encourage the use of composition in lessons with students as a means to explore how music works and to enhance learning.

Suitable for:

  • Music teachers who have an interest in composing but would like some guidance
  • Anyone who hasn’t composed before but is interested in trying
  • Music teachers of all instruments
  • Music teachers who would like to explore the role of composition in education

When: Sunday, 12th March 2023

Time: 10:00–13:00

Where: Zoom

Places: limited to 15

Cost: €85 *

Feedback session, optional & free: Sunday, 26th March 2023, 11:00–13:00

Ailbhe McDonagh is the composer of it’s a piano thing (volumes 1 & 2) and it’s a cello thing (volumes 1 & 2), all of which have been published by Boosey & Hawkes. McDonagh’s music features regularly in the piano albums for The Royal Irish Academy of Music and The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exams. Recently, a collection of McDonagh’s guitar compositions have been included in the University of West London Classical Guitar syllabus. McDonagh studied composition in Ireland and took composition classes in New York. She performs as a soloist and chamber musician and regularly performs with the National Symphony Orchestra. 2012 saw the release of McDonagh’s début album, It’s a Cello Thing. In 2020, she released the album Skellig with her sister Orla McDonagh. In 2021, in collaboration with internationally renowned pianist John O’Conor, McDonagh brought out an album on which she performs all of Beethoven’s Cello Sonatas, subsequently undertaking a nationwide tour of these works with O’Conor in 2022. Also, in 2022 McDonagh’s Appalachian String Quartet was premiered, while this year in 2023, we await her album of all of the Bach Cello Suites . McDonagh has also set poems by W.B. Yeat’s to music.

McDonagh has a keen interest in music education in Ireland. She teaches at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, delivers master classes through the National Concert Hall, and has delivered numerous composition workshops to music teachers around the country.

* Please note that service is excluded from the cooling-off period and is therefore non-refundable. If you need to cancel, as a goodwill gesture MLI will endeavour to refund you only if all places have been filled on the day of the event. PayPal administration fees are included in the cost of the service – any administration fees incurred by MLI will be deducted from the refund amount.