Rosie Louise Mountjoy

Music Blog

MD5319 – Final – Summative reflection and statement

Summative reflection and statement

Planning for the workshop

Throughout the planning of the workshop the ideas kept changing but stayed based around the same idea; Our idea was to hold the aim that music can be made from anything, you don’t need a musical instrument to create music.

Through many conversations with the group and with Simon we all agreed that introducing a task would mean the workshop had an outcome. This story introducing the idea of the workshop working towards something was what it needed. We had something to strive for during the workshop and it gave the kids an education based workshop which would appeal to schools.

We drew upon ideas from what is key in primary education, and settled on colours and stories being a main memory from our primary school times.

The story idea was finalized after Christmas as we came up with ideas over the festive break so this meant we were slightly unprepared when we came together the Friday before the workshop.

This last minute adaptation really brought on the stress for me as it created more prep for us to do.

During this time, it really started to show the cracks when working in a group, with slight tension here and there. I found it really difficult as I usually work on my own so going from that to working with 3 more people proved difficult. I wasn’t able to steam ahead getting everything sorted and having control of it, I had to rely on other people which really stressed me out.

This module has definitely tested me, mostly with group working!


Prep for the workshop

All of the instruments were handmade, based upon real instruments. I had the task of creating rattle drums…

Expansion on the instrument making-

When you initially think about making instrument you don’t think that it would be time consuming but it most certainly is! Even the thinking behind it, like ‘is this safe’, so cutting away sharp edges or covering bits that could be dangerous…

We distributed the instrument making over the four of us. I also had to write out all the words for the story board, which ended up taking hours! Now thinking about it, I think we should have shared the work load out. Ophelia wrote out que cards for us all, this was just so we had a safety net while the workshop was going on to make sure we kept on track and didn’t mess up. (this took a little bit of stress away)

We had to bring everything together on the morning of the workshop day which piled on a lot more stress than if we had of tried to sort it out beforehand. I think with prepping for a workshop you just need to make sure everything is sorted well in advance or else it just causes way more stress than necessary on the day.


Workshop assessment day

As I mentioned above the stress on the day really was at a peak for me and I carried this through into my workshop.

The workshop I think ran smoother than I anticipated, and we kept to schedule and reached our outcome. All the ideas were there and I feel we had a solid base for the workshop but the lack of rehearsing and stress dragged the overall workshop down for me.

I think the time constraint really impacted us in many ways; We seemed to rush through the introduction and explanation of the task as we didn’t want to hang around too much and waste time. We could of spent an extra 2 minutes at a push making sure everyone knew what they were doing as at some points it seemed like a slight mess.

This rushing seeped into the setting up as, I noticed half way through when I was explaining about the instrument groups that two instruments were assigned to the wrong group which could’ve thrown the ‘kids’ off. (our fellow students)

This rushing again caused problems again when the girls were assigning the colour to the words that the students chose the colour to; We ended up with 3 words on the wrong coloured paper so the wrong instrument group were playing on the wrong word. I decided to go and change it as soon as I noticed so I drew attention to it but part of me now wishes I ignored it and I feel like they wouldn’t have known any different. Obviously I did it because if It was a real workshop situation we would have been teaching kids the wrong thing.

Our main aim was to teach kids that you can make music from anything you can find. I feel that we achieved this aim however the focus was taken away from this with the story. There was a lot of attention based on the story during the workshop and it took from the novelty of having instruments that are homemade and quirky.

Saying this our aims that coincided with our main aim was to introduce kids to the idea of a score, dynamics and overall to create a soundtrack to go alongside a story; These aims I felt that we definitely achieved. Having more than one aim gave us the opportunity to expand what we got out of the workshop.

The workshop went well but I think no matter how many practices or how prepared you think you are there is always going to be something that’s not quite right or completely wrong.

Feedback from the class

We had some really good feedback when we asked what they thought at the end of our workshop. With comments about how they enjoyed using instruments that were homemade and how they created funny and weird sounds. Leah made a interesting point that because the instruments were funny it could’ve totally taken the workshop in a messy direction but the story kept them focused as they had something to follow.


Contextual statement

The module overall opened my eyes to what community music really is. It also led me to explore different paths for me personally to take in my music career; Music therapy is something I shall definitely be considering at some point, there is still so much I want to explore as it is such a broad topic.

I didn’t realize how much community music helps people, I thought it was just about spreading music to people in the community but it is so much more than that. There are workshops set up to help younger people cope with mental health, which currently is a growing issue, more workshops need to be recognized as helping as I think this could be a great way to combat issues behind this.

The module has completely educated me in more way than I thought, community music was a module at my college which involved us going into primary schools and teaching year 5s songs; My preconception of community music came from this experience so this is why I was so shocked when I started to explore the branches that come of this subject.

The whole backing that music in the community is about helping people is something that draws me into wanting to get involved. Using music to help others is something I strive to do with my song writing so knowing this is an option when looking at a career in music has opened a new idea door for me.

The impact it has had on my own practice is how it has made me notice how important early preparation is. When working in a group the prep is crucial for it to run smooth and avoid tension. I wish I knew this beforehand!

Working in a group impacted me hugely, this dynamic change wasn’t something I expected to affect me as much as it did. Working with groups is something I need to work on more as this was the first proper graded task I’ve done in a group and I must admit it’s scared me off doing it again. Having more experience with group work may help towards a smoother running of workshops in the future.



MD5319 – Workshop finalising – 12th Jan 2018

The last lecture before the workshop practical – this time gave us the opportunity to really cement what we want to do as over christmas we came up with other ideas for our workshop.

The main idea being that you can play anything and it be musical and that you don’t have to have any prior musical knowledge. We didn’t want it to just be a workshop about picking up an instrument and playing it, we all felt that we needed a story, something to get out of the workshop. Having a story to frame the workshop also gives you a point to work towards, a structure and an outcome for the children.

Discussion about having the kids come up with words to create a story was the main idea but after working through each pro and con of that we all came to the conclusion it would take a lot of time and also could mean the story has no context at all.

I had the idea that we had words already but colour code the word to an instrument, these colours for the word will be chosen by the children, this being the way that they get involved with the creation of the story.

After bouncing around the ideas of this we all settled that this would be the best way but we need to make sure they story is funny and engaging. We then introduce the instruments, these all being home made instruments so hopefully they aren’t intimidating.

As we go across the story we point to the word with the colour and that group that has that coloured instrument plays.

At first we had 12 words all together that the kids had to chose a colour to best represent it but after further discussion we all agreed this could take ages. We ended up agreeing on 4 words that they had to pick the colour for, each word corresponding to each of the colours. This way it gave us more time to develop the story musically with dynamics.


Instrument creating –

The instrument ideas were either from previous ideas that we had and also from searching online.

I created the rattle drum instruments, using a cardboard circle box, string, beads, a pencil and some glue! I also bought some ‘wash’ tape to decorate with!

Rattle drum 1.jpg Rattle drum 2


Sarah created castanets and little banjos –

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Chloe made tambourines and shakers/scrapers

Tambourine and skraper.jpg

And Ophelia was in charge of creating instruments for the wind section-

Pipes and a kazoo

Wind section .jpg


My next role was too write out all the cards with words on for the story board, it took me hours! And I lost a Sharpie to the cause 😦

Card words for story.jpg


Ophelia created Que cards as a safety net during the workshop, just in case of emergency!






MD5319 – Workshop Planning sheets

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MD5311 – Production Project – Technical Log

Originally for this project I began to record a vocal and piano track which is something typical of me. I had time over the festive break to completely change my mind with what I wanted to create in a step towards my EP. I took this opportunity to create a song that challenges me not only in production but also my style and what I want to create in my future music ventures.

I took an original vocal and piano track and turned it into an electronic inspired piece through experimenting with sounds and instruments on Logic. Logic being my DAW of choice as it’s what I have access to at home, preferably for my EP I want to use Pro tools as I feel I have better mixing experience on that DAW.

Due to me creating this track over the festive period I didn’t have access to the university studio, so I took to my makeshift home studio. The only Live recording was the vocals so this wasn’t too much of an issue. The vocals I recorded in a make shift vocal booth.


Here you can see the make shift recording booth, the mic set up with the pop shield and also me ready to go! (ignore the guitar I came up with many ideas during the process)


Mic plugged into Interface used


Ideally recording these vocals in the studio would have meant I had a stronger vocal take recorded on my desired mic, this being the U87. The mic I recorded with was a Tascam TM-80, which with tweaking of EQ, reverb and compression didn’t turn out sounding too bad.

This vocal sound coinciding with electronic instruments is something inspired from London Grammar, this sound is something I want to take through into my EP. They also use live instruments in their music so this is something I want to try.



Below is a list of each instrument track and what I used on each-

Vocals- ‘Female Vocal’ EQ, ‘Short vocal hall’ reverb, Stereo spread and classic vocal compressor.

Drum machine – ‘Crate Digger’ being the sound pad used with ‘Botta church’ reverb.

Synth strings –  Turned cut off all the way down with ambience and reverb turned up. (this just in the controls panel)

Synth pad – Reverb turned up on the controls panel.

Piano – ‘Botta church’ reverb.

Backing Vocals – ‘Female Vocal’ EQ, ‘Big cave’ reverb and factory default stereo spread.

Reverse symbol – Pre downloaded sound from a previous project.


The ‘Rev’ used at the start gave the track an extra bit purely because it took me so long to feel happy with the sound and the one part I hated was how sudden it started so this saved the track for me really.

The reverb adds space to the sound, this is most noticeable in the vocals. The effects used on the vocals created a echoed, haunting sound which is what I was going for due to the theme of the song.

These vocals against the electronic synths are definitely something that I want to infuse through each of my tracks when working towards my EP. Considering this was my first time using the MIDI and using the sample library on Logic, I’m really pleased with the outcome.

Live instrument exploring is definitely something I want to consider when creating my EP, as I want to experiment with the room you record in and where the mic is placed.

This room impact I noticed on the vocals in my track. The vocals in the mix sound really quiet and I tried to resolve the issue as at first I thought it was due to the compression but after tweaking everything they stayed the same. The problem I think has fallen down to the amateur booth I recorded in. I think recording the vocals again with the desired microphone and in a proper studio would elevate the track.

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As you can see in the channel listing it shows all the pre set channel strips that come with an instrument used from the library.


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MD5319 – Beatbox workshop

Structure of workshop – planning, format, and delivery:


Planning – Do you think the aims and objectives were realistic? What were the key considerations for this particular session (in your opinion)?

I would definitely say the aims and objectives were realistic. The workshop was designed to fit a group whom are musical in one way or another. There was even a comment that they adapted their usual workshop to suit university music students. The workshop was planned around to fit any type or musician so it was versatile and no one felt left out.

The aim was to finish the workshop feeling that you could create a piece of music using skills learnt throughout the day. We were taught the basics of beat boxing and I think they slightly adapted parts of beat boxing so that it could be done easily by anyone, no matter their capabilities.

The one thing I felt wasn’t considered during the planning process was the idea that some of the musicians may not be as confident as others and would struggle with a spotlight being put on them which happened a few times during the warm ups and also the ‘jam’ activity. Also for some people the aim wasn’t something that was a realistic outcome for them as they didn’t feel confident performing to others and this was enhanced through the intimation they felt during the warmup.


Format – consider suitability of room, equipment, number of facilitators to participants, duration. Do you feel that it was appropriately challenging? Did it highlight or demand any particular level of skill or experience in the participants? Comment on the sequence – introduction, warm-up, group work and performance – and if you thought this was appropriate.

Room – I would say was definitely suitable for the workshop, it had a huge hall to do the whole group activities in and also small rooms coming off it for us to use to practice in. I think the 5 mics used the room to the best of its capabilities.

One downfall for me was how cold it was in the room, it was almost off putting at points as I was that cold I had to keep my coat on and never felt properly ‘warmed up’.

Equipment – The 5 mics brought more than enough mics and had their own speakers and desk meaning they didn’t have to rely on the venue, it also meant they looked effortless when using and we had no problems what so ever.

Number of facilitators to participants– The ratio was perfect. Having 5 people running the workshop meant you weren’t just hearing one voice go one for the 5 hours we were there. They also had banter between each other which we could join in, this gave of a sense of warmth and ease. This vibe from the 5 mics definitely was absorbed by us as a group.

Duration – As I mentioned in the above comments about the faciliators, because we had 5 of them and not just 1, as silly as it sounds but time didn’t become a huge factor as we were all other wised engaged and just didn’t think about it. The amount of stuff we got through you definitely needed the solid 5 hours to get through it and because we were doing different things constantly it broke up the session.

Challenging? – The workshop at first look was intimidating and the concept was scary as a lot of us has never beat boxed before or even attempted to, so I think this scared a lot of people. It was a constant learning workshop and the challenge was to create these sounds they were asking for (they were difficult sounds). I felt they pushed us because of them knowing prior that we were music students.

The challenge really fell to the people who weren’t comfortable in situations where some attention was drawn to them. This attention was drawn while doing the circle activities.

Highlight or demand a level of experience? – Not particularly, as there wasn’t any pressure to get it right or for you to be able to do it. The one skill you benefitted from was having rhythm and having experience improvising over a rhythm already set.


Comments on the sequence –

  • Introduction

The introduction revolved around hearing what the workshop leaders (5 mics) could do. This introduction fueled excitement and also engaged and captured us. I can also see that this could come across as intimidating for some students as they beat boxed so well and they could judge us on how awful we may be.

  • Warm up

The warm up was crucial, it brought us together as a group and made us bond with people we haven’t before. It settled everyone and created a humorous atmosphere. The games also made the workshop leaders seem just like one of us as they were being caught out and we got to laugh at them during it.

The Jam gave us chance to show the workshop leaders what we could do which was fun for some people but I’m not too sure that they though this part through as they were making people solo and this is such an intimidating thing for some students to do.

  • Group work

The group work gave the workshop an outcome and this is why I think they did it. We got brought together with people we don’t usually work with and got to create something I think all of us seemed proud of.

This Group work gives opportunity for people to come together, share thoughts and ideas and time to create something that isn’t fully lead by the leaders.


Delivery – What aspects of the groups delivery throughout the session stood out? Single out any particular elements as being examples of good practice, and anything you felt could be altered or improved on. Explain why.

The group were really warming and had a lot of banter which for us in particular really worked. There was a common ground between all of us which I think helped; This common ground being that we all create music in some way or another and have a passion for it.

The 5 mics vibed of each other and had a laugh with each other while running the workshop, they created an informal, relaxed feel to the whole workshop.

One element was when we got split into groups and each member came over to help us out and have a good chat with us. Another time was when we were out in the small rooms practicing some of us got the chance to speak to two of them and talk about music and different things, it made us all relax just before we performed.

Conclusion – personal response and reflection

I absolutely loved the workshop, it incorporated all the things I love about doing music. The Jam circle specially was something enjoyed doing as improvisation is something that really sparks my interest.

The main thing that stood out to me was how welcoming they were and how relaxed they made people feel. It opened my eyes to how relaxed you can be during a workshop, it doesn’t have to be all about learning (this in reference to the games).

It’s made me think about incorporating games and activities that are just for fun, and how this can completely change the mood of a room. This is definitely something I will be taking into consideration when we plan our workshop.

One thing I’m taking away as a thing not to do in a workshop situation is the singling out of people. This was the downfall for people I think, a lot of people because nervous and anxious and this is not a feeling I want anywhere near our workshop.

MD5319 – Guest speaker – Malaki Patterson

Malaki Patterson is the creative director of music works.

I felt that Malaki really strengthened what Simon had been saying in the weeks prior, so having this guest speaker in cemented what music in the community really was.

Malaki told us how he started as workshop leader and has recently progressed to become the creative director of music works. His job is to gather ideas and come up with fresh new workshops.

Throughout the workshop i intended on taking notes to remember all that he said but i got that engrossed and engaged with what he was saying i literally wrote his name down, that was it! This was a good thing as quite often i become disengaged but he was constantly involving us and the subject also inspired a new thought on this being a career path for me.

One thing that resonated with me was the story about working with youth who were from a corrections unit and he made us aware how important it was to be on the same page with the leaders at the facility in this case. There was miscommunication which ended with someone having a knife, this was all down to the leaders and the people from the facility not following the same rules and the leaders not being aware of it.

He went on to telling us how the workshop NEEDS to be class specific. When planning a workshop you need to take into consideration anything that comes with the territory of that certain group of people. He explained that the time of the workshop is something to take into consideration. He told us that one of his workshops for youth he designed the workshop so that it would suit them; He made sure he had afternoon sessions as teenagers have this stereotype of not wanting to get up in the morning. Catering for little things like this changes a lot, this meant more people would come and it would fit round their lifestyle already set in place.

Also Malaki touched on the use of trial and error, that there can always be things that need to be changed for next time while you are running a work shop. Nothing is going to be perfect the first time you do it, so just give it a try, if something doesn’t work, change it for next time. Simple.

It was also mentioned that you need to be careful with one on one moments at any point; Always make sure that there is someone else present as this avoids any problems in the future. There was a story told about a young girl who was in a bad place and falsely accused a leader of inappropriate relations, because he was in a one to one situation there was no one there to back him up. Thinking about situations like this is crucial as one small hiccup can ruin a career.

Malaki also highlighted a story about a young lad whom he helped in one of his hospital education workshops and now he employs him to work at one of the music work trusted studios. This young boy suffered from a number of things, one of them being anxiety, through this workshop he found confidence and ‘a route back into education’. His story is publicised on their website…

He now works at the studio 340 helping out Malaki.


The website shares more information about safety and the different policies the music works stand by. Parent are able to access these through their website settling their mind over anything that could possibly go wrong, and that the leaders have been trained for this. Each job role within Music works holds a policy responsibility too. In regards to safety, they carry out a risk assessment before going ahead with any workshop. They also fill out a checklist…

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Gloucester, Cheltenham and Cindeford are the there places that the music works bases around.  With studios and spaces in each other these locations.



MD5313 – Lead Track – Location song – Further development + Analysis

For my LEAD track I have chosen to do my Location song.

Here is the link to the original task blog post for my Location song –

In reference to the work in link above, I worked on my song further and developed in more since choosing it as my lead song so below will be the process of this development.

The original task didn’t include that it had to have music so of course first step was to turn these lyrics and develop them into a song.

Location working draft

As you can see written at the top of the page in the photo, this is when I started to play around with chords and also you can see the developing of my lyrics.

The song went on to become this –


V1 – As you step into my garden

As you look down over me

Flowers brushing past your black dress

Ready to lay them next to me


V2 – Every Saturday you visit

You come and stand at my feet

Replace the drooping roses

Wipe the tear from your cheek


Chorus – Im still with you

Im still with you

Im still with you

Im still with you


V3- Brush the leaves from the stone

Clear the dust thats fallen over my name

The dates cementing the day you lost me

But you will never lose my love




Bridge – I want you to move on

Past the mourning and the grief

Stop looking down at your feet

Life will carry on without me                              x2 (whole thing)


Chorus     (Fades out)


I decided to add one of the bridges that I was toying around with when I originally started the task as I felt it would be a strong part of the song.


The day I went to record my final song – 

So I started to record my song, using the draft above as the final song but as I was recording something didn’t sound right, this quickly lead me onto adding a pre chorus.

Pre –

Time goes on

Time heals the pain


and I also decided to chop out the bridge as it didn’t offer anything to the song!


Final lyrics 


V1 – As you step into my garden

As you look down over me

Flowers brushing past your black dress

Ready to lay them next to me

V2 – Every Saturday you visit

You come and stand at my feet

Replace the drooping roses

Wipe the tear from your cheek

Pre – Time goes on

Time heals the pain

Chorus – Im still with you

Im still with you

Im still with you

Im still with you

V3- Brush the leaves from the stone

Clear the dust thats fallen over my name

The dates cementing the day you lost me

But you will never lose my love

Pre – 


Chorus –

End lyric – As you stand at my feet


The lyrics tell a story, the first verse sets the scene of a grave after the funeral ‘Black dress’ , the second tells about the frequent visits after, then the 3rd verse shows that the visits are as frequent, ‘Brush the leaves form the stone’ and ‘dust fallen’, The Pre chorus cements this idea of time going by, (this time reflected through ticking in the instrumentation of my track). The chorus is a summary that the person is ‘still with you’ no matter how much time goes by.


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Here is a screenshot of my logic session…

As you can see I have used an array of different sounds to create a full sounding instrumental to accompany the song. Something that I have never done with any of my other tracks… EVER!

Logic screenshot

I have managed to create a full sound in the chorus with layering of different synth sounds, a beat and a bass sound. At different points in the song I have introduced instruments and taken them away to create a flowing track.

Final track audio-



MD5313 – Instrumental Piece

The task this week was to work in a group with people you haven’t worked with before, So in lecture me and Will Davies decided that we would work together as we had never had the opportunity to do so before. As it turned out Ophelia didn’t have a group to go with so she worked with us two (I have worked with Ophelia on numerous occasions before but she’s never worked with Will and considering the circumstance surely thats fine).

Myself and Ophelia had a studio booking where we finished early and Will was around so we decided to take full advantage of the room and the percussion instruments in the studio facilities and recorded a rough take of our instrumental piece.

We conversed about what type of sound we wanted to create and then leading on to us sharing different ideas to one another which before we knew it lead into a jam which we thankfully recorded before we started.

Ophelia played the piano, Will on guitar and then myself playing two egg shakers and a tambourine and I used my voice to create ‘ooo’s and different sounds.

We ended up creating an emotion filled piece that was really evoking. Considering it started as a jam it actually turned into something neither of us were expecting so here it is…

MD5319 – Focused research – Technology

I chose to research into Pyka and what they offer. Pyka are a group of digital artist-educators whom have a passion for creative led learning and extensive experience in schools. They have 3 courses, these being: Pyka looper, Pyka walker and Pyka hack. For this task I am going to look into the Pyka looper course and what this course offers.

Pyka Looper opens the doors to digital creativity, by using there software students record and remix sounds from their environment to create a song that can be uploaded to Spotify or apple music. I think that bringing digital workshops into schools really benefits as the youth of today are constantly around technology and have grown up with it constantly in their life. Teaching them what they can do creatively and through education on a digital platform creates a different perception for them in regards to what technology offers them at the moment.

The pyka looper course is run over six weeks, students use the Pyka loop app and record sounds from their surroundings. They then go onto developing these sounds in a creative way while also using key skills from maths, literacy and science. The course is rounded off with a global release of a class track.

They highlight to students that skills in your key subject are vital even in creative careers.

My view – 

This course I would say brings creativity, music, learning and maturity all together. You get to be creative through music, you learn about the app and what it can do, for example they learn about frequency and its affects on the sound. The learning and maturity come hand in hand with one another really, the software to a child would seem mature and that they are being trusted to use it and experiment their own thoughts and ideas.

The course I think would appeal to even an older generation of youth, not just the year 6 age bracket that is mentioned and shown in the video. Even for students at university level this course would benefit as it opens up ideas of music technology and creating music from outside sounds, not just ones found on a computer.

The app lets you explore your creativity and its great to see that rather than suppressing this creativity and exploration which I felt happened in primary schools, theses courses are opening doors for eduction.


Below I’ve attached the link to some of the songs created in the workshops –


Just from listening to the first song you are introduced to the idea that you can make music through anything. The idea that you don’t need to be able to play an instrument to create music is an amazing thought to make children aware of such a young age. The intimidation of being handed a musical instrument and someone asking you to play it compared to being given a app to explore with instead is something that needs to be explored more.

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