How Composers Improve, with Matthew Ellul (School of Composition)

New musicality video:

Today We’re speaking with Matthew Ellul, the man behind School Of Composition, an online resource for anyone who wants to learn to compose music, offering free tutorials as well as eBooks and personal tutoring for aspiring composers.

Composing and song writing are often the end goals which inspire people to join our membership here at Musical U and so we’re very conscious of the things which tend to hold people back from really pursuing or succeeding with writing their own music, and we’re always eager to talk with those who specialise in teaching these skills.

Like music theory, composing is often taught in a dry, abstract rule-based way which sucks all the musicality out of it. On his site, School of Composition, Matthew tackles both topics in a way that helps nurture creativity – rather than stifle it.

In this conversation we talk about:

– Two simple insights which helped Matthew stop comparing himself to others in an unconstructive way

– The music theory topic which was a big “aha” moment for him and helped stop his own compositions from meandering aimlessly

– How singing, playing an instrument, playing more than one instrument, and mastering notation software can all contribute in different ways to becoming a better composer

We also talk about the big thing which holds us back from sharing our own musical creations – and Matthew recommends one effective way to fix that.

We often encourage people to try composing or song writing even if they don’t expect to pursue it in a serious way – because just like improvising, composing can be a terrific vehicle for applying your inner musicality and exploring what you’re capable of in music.

Whether you’re currently excited by the word “composing” or not, you’ll enjoy this conversation with Matthew – because there are a ton of valuable ideas and insights here for any musician.

Watch the episode:

Links and Resources

School Of Composition –

How to Get Better at Music Composition (15 Do’s and 5 Don’ts) –

Cadences in Music: Beyond the Harmonic Formulas –

About Singing as a Tool –

The Instrument Inside You, with Ben Parry –

About Playing Like Singing –

Find and Make Peace with Your Voice, with Nikki Loney –

Learning to Sing in Tune, with George Bevan –

How to Sing Smarter, with Meghan Nixon –

Singing that Sounds Good – and Beyond, with Davin Youngs –

All Things Vocal, with Judy Rodman –

Rewind: Singing –

Intimidating – or Inspiring? You Choose –

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How Composers Improve, with Matthew Ellul (School of Composition)