Compose to Teach, Compose to Learn

Compose to Teach, Compose to Learn is 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
  • 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, get feedback on your work and ask questions.

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, 30th January 2022

Time: 10:00–13:00

Where: Zoom

Places: limited to 16

Cost: €85

Feedback session, optional & free: Sunday, 13th February 2022, 11:00–13:00

Composition Workshop €85
Special Offer: Buy MuseScore Workshop and Composition Workshop for €110

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 Royal Irish Academy of Music piano albums and has recently been chosen for The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music piano albums. 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.  In 2021 she released an album on which she performs all of Beethoven’s Cello Sonatas with John O’Conor, and in 2020, she released the album Skellig with her sister Orla McDonagh; her début album also It’s A Cello Thing was released in 2012.

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.