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Guildhall Creative Music Making Summer School

Creative Music Training

Our Creative Music Training course offers a unique opportunity for musicians and educators to develop and study collaborative workshop-leading skills and creative approaches to communicating through music in diverse participatory contexts.  

Music leaders of the 21st century are required to fulfill many roles – as leader, conductor, collaborator, improviser, composer and educator. This new five day summer school is designed to equip practitioners with skills which aid and support effective workshop leading and collaborative music making.

How you'll learn

Through sessions focused on improvisation, collaborative composition, harmony, leadership and conducting, participants in Creative Music Training will develop skills including flexibility and fluency within improvisation and performance, rhythmic strength, vocal confidence, strong physical presence and the use of body language as well as the ability to multitask and to move fluidly between the roles of composer, performer and leader.

In addition to structured classes, each student will become part of a creative ensemble – giving participants the opportunity to practically implement their learning with one of Barbican Guildhall’s collaborative ensembles of young people. Alongside this small and whole group mentoring sessions will be run throughout the week, enabling reflective discussion and the chance to discuss and consolidate the ideas, thoughts and learning covered in the course.

The Barbican-Guildhall’s Creative Learning Department has over 25 years of experience, excellence and leadership in this field.

About the course tutors

The course will be led by Creative Learning tutors Paul GriffithsDetta Danford and Natasha Zielazinski.

Paul Griffiths is an internationally renowned music educationalist. His musical roots lie in Jazz, Rock and Funk but he has developed a unique artistic voice and workshop style that transcends musical, social and cultural barriers. He has over a quarter of a century’s experience of working in conservatoires, music schools, primary and secondary schools, special needs schools, arts centres and a host of community settings. Detta and Natasha work together regularly as performers, composers and leaders. They are co-founders of contemporary music ensemble Jetsam and of Future Band, a Barbican-Guildhall ensemble of young instrumentalists, vocalists and composers. They have led projects together for Aldeburgh MusicYong Siew Toh Conservatoire, The BBC Symphony Orchestra, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and have travelled regularly to the United States, Japan and Europe to lead projects and perform. 

About the School

The Guildhall School is situated in the City of London next door to the Barbican Arts Centre, which houses two theatres, a concert hall, cinemas and galleries. It is also within easy reach of the West End and the Southbank. This course has a Barbican-based residential option for those seeking accommodation. 


Residential Option 1: £861 (Bed, breakfast, and evening meal)
Residential Option 2: £801 (Bed and breakfast)
Non-residential: £550


Monday 3 – Friday 7 August 2015

Participant requirements

Applicants must be 18 years of age or over on the first day of the course. Applicants should ensure they have sufficient English language skills to be able to cope with the demands of this course. Participants are expected to have demonstrable musicianship skills acquired either through formal training or self-taught. 


A refund of fees can only be issued if written notification for a cancellation is received by Friday 3 July 2015. No refunds will be offered after this date unless a medical certificate is produced.

Special access needs

If you have any special access needs, please contact us to discuss your requirements using the contact details below.


It is recommended that students take out insurance cover, including cover for theft and the loss of fees in the event of illness or accident. For international students needing help in finding an insurance company, you might try www.students-insurance.eu  


Should you wish to use your participation in the summer school as credit for a university or college course you are undertaking, this would be a matter for you to agree with your current institution. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer assessments.  


Email shortcourses(at)gsmd.ac.uk or call 0207 382 2310 for any enquiries.


Applications are now open. Apply for your place here!

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