Ear Opener is a learning programme which supports music creators. We create digital resources, facilitate in-person composition workshops with music students, work with teachers to develop their composition teaching skills, and advocate for the role of music in our lives. Drawing on over 15 years’ experience teaching in secondary schools, Ear Opener harnesses the creativity and ambition of young music makers, providing the tools for them to make the most of their musical ideas.
There are three main areas to Ear Opener:
Workshops: in-school courses for GCSE and A-Level Music students
Inset days: bespoke training for Music teachers
Ear Opener videos
A series of video masterclasses that demystify the process of writing music, aimed at young people aged 14-20.
Ear Opener is accessible to anyone who wants to write music, with content freely available to watch on YouTube. Created by our Artistic Director and renowned composer Paul Clark, featuring candid interviews from celebrated musicians and composers from across the genre spectrum, including legendary producer Brian Eno, jazz composer and saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi, Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien, film and TV composer Isobel Waller-Bridge and many more.
Ear Opener videos draw on over 15 years’ experience of working in secondary schools and has been created in consultation with music teachers and students.
To find out more and watch the videos, visit earopener.co.uk.
Ear Opener Workshops
We run composition workshops in secondary state schools which focus on harnessing the creativity and confidence of GCSE and A-Level Music students. Making the transition from GCSE to A-Level can be a daunting undertaking, particularly for those who have not had the chance to develop a firm grasp classical music theory and history.
Our workshops focus on the composition module of the A-Level. By bringing professional composers and musicians into schools, students learn key aspects of musical arrangement and form. As well as hearing how their own work sounds played live by excellent musicians, the course provides advice on the pros and cons of using computer software and hands-on experience of writing for a range of instruments. The sessions culminate in the rehearsal and recording of the students’ final exam pieces, which are entered as part of their exam.
Over the course of the pandemic, we have continued to support students and teachers remotely. Read this blog to learn more.
Our inset days help secondary school Music teachers to support their students to unlock their talent for writing music. For over 15 years, we have worked in partnership with secondary state school teachers and listened to hundreds of compositions submitted for examination. We have identified the areas students struggle with most, and we have developed tools that consistently bring us good results.
The workshop will use our Ear Opener video series as a resource that you can use in the classroom, featuring tutorials on complex topics – from arrangement to melodic development – and interviews with celebrated musicians including jazz artist Cassie Kinoshi and legendary producer Brian Eno.
Ear Opener was created as a result of over 15 years working with music students in secondary schools. Raising money is part of the creative process. If you are in a position to support us to continue to engage, inspire and teach young music makers, please consider supporting the company.
Main image: Cassie Kinoshi, Paul Clark and Brian Eno.