Free lunchtime masterclasses with professional composers and creators

Collage of all masterclass composers

Looking for some lunchtime inspiration? Love creating your own sound and music? Want to learn from industry professionals how to take it to the next level?

Join us for a week of free online masterclasses, led by some of the most exciting professional composers, artists, producers and music creators in the UK.

From 3rd  – 7th August, as part of our Digital Summer School, we’re thrilled to host a week of new sessions led by masters in their field: AI computer music expert Lizzie Wilson, artist and director Mella Faye, electronic composer Caro C, interdisciplinary pianist David Austin Grey, hip-hop producer Sami Baha and jazz saxophonist & bandleader Shabaka Hutchings.

This is a unique opportunity to explore new ways of making music, new styles and new approaches – all from the comfort of your own home!  

Each session; 

  • is completely free
  • is aimed at young people ages 11-18 (but all are welcome)
  • will take place at 1pm each day and last around an hour  
  • will be hosted via Zoom (registration only, up to 90 people, first-come-first served)
  • will include a demo, tips and tricks, and industry insight
  • will inspire you to get creative and explore new areas of music making
  • does not require prior experience to participate!

Find out more details about each masterclass and the links to register below.

Lizzie Wilson performing with computer

Masterclass Day 1 with Lizzie Wilson | Monday 3rd August, 1pm 

Lizzie Wilson is an interdisciplinary artist and PhD researcher whose interests include live computer music, musical A.I. and human-machine co-collaboration. In this masterclass, she’ll explore making music with code, using the TidalCycles programming language.

After a brief introduction to the origins and ethos of the live-coding scene, we’ll learn to make musical patterns using TidalCycles, showing the basics of how to make computer music for live performance or musical tracks. Participants will also be invited to try the code out for themselves online if they have access to a computer and an internet connection!

Key takeaways:

Explore live coding and why you might use it to make music;

  • how you  might construct a musical pattern with code
  • how these elements can come together in a live performance 

Interested? Sign up here


Caro C listening through headphones

Masterclass Day 2 with Caro C | Tuesday 4th August, 1pm

Electronic composer, producer and “sonic enchantress” Caro C synthesises a sound that BBC Introducing dubbed a “one-woman electronic avalanche”. In this masterclass, Caro will unpack some of her favourite ways of creatively manipulating sound in her project sessions on Logic. From microphone placement, through dynamic controllers (compression and limiting), automation, effects and micro-editing, this session is a showcase of how this composer creates her sensual sound world of electronic music.

N.B. Some experience with DAWs (digital audio workstations), such as Garageband, Fruity Loops, Cubase, Ableton or Logic, is recommended. 

Key takeaways:

Expand your awareness of what is possible creatively and technically with a computer;

  • get more creative with your compositions using inspiring tools and techniques to
  • learn how creative you can be with music production - everything is a creative decision!

Interested? Sign up here


David Austin Grey playing piano Mella Faye Headshot

Masterclass Day 3 with New Voices David Austin Grey and Mella Faye (two part special) | Wednesday 5th August, 1pm

This two-part session is led by two of Sound and Music’s acclaimed New Voices artists. Actor, musician and director Mella Faye is the founder of the female-narrative driven theatre and music company Pecho Mama, while pianist and composer David Austin Grey has worked with the likes of Birmingham Royal Ballet, Soweto Kinch and Snarky Puppy.

In the first hour, David will explore different ways of generating and developing musical ideas, with a view, to how the music might be performed and reinterpreted by a live ensemble, as well as writing for film, dance, and other mediums. Some knowledge of writing music and theory might be helpful, but not 100% necessary.

For the second half, Mella will lead a session on looking inwards for inspiration, helping you build confidence in your own unique sound or story and develop your innate creativity. No technical knowledge is needed - just curiosity!

Key takeaways:

Explore ways to make the most creative use of your ideas; 

  • combining music, film, dance
  • where and how to search for inspiration
  • how to write with other musicians in mind
  • building courage and confidence
  • learning to trust your creative voice

Interested? Sign up here


Sami smiling and squinting in the sun

Masterclass Day 4 with Sami Baha | Thursday 6th August, 1pm

Combining familiar, trap-based hip hop production with his roots in Turkish popular music, Sami Baha crafts slow, moody tracks with miles-deep bass and explosive samples. This masterclass will focus on making hip-hop beats and tracks using FL Studio, an industry standard piece of software with boundless creative potential for beat-making and mixing. Using its hip-hop friendly layout, Sami will boost your confidence in composing with FL Studio and provide detailed tips and tricks for making professional tracks. If you’re new to music production and don’t know where to start, this is the place!

Key takeaways:

Explore writing striking hip-hop and r&b based beats from scratch;

  • understand the basics of using FL Studio software to make compelling music

Interested? Sign up here


Shabaka in a hat, hands in pockets

Masterclass 5 with Shabaka Hutchings | Friday 7th August, 1pm

The creative driving force behind jazz giants Shabaka and the Ancestors, Sons of Kemet and Comet is Coming, composer and saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings is constantly evaluating the nature of his relationship with musical material and tradition. As part of the Caribbean diaspora, he sees his role as pushing the boundaries of what musical elements are considered to be Caribbean. In this unique session, Shabaka will offer unique insight into his approach and methods as a composer.

Key takeaways:

Creative approaches to practice, improvisation and composition.

Interested? Sign up here


Find out more about the Sound and Music Summer School here



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