Ear Academy, Newburgh, Fife, KY14 6DP

Mixed Instrument Workshops

Deconstructing Music

with Dave J Ford.... it's all about listening....


This is the one class where I'm not even sure if we'll actually play anything at all. Just in case we decide to, do bring an instrument if you like but it's not mandatory. If you don't play, that's fine. Most or even all of the class will be us listening, dissecting, discussing, philosophising.

Tutor Dave Ford on sax

Desert Island Discs

Kirsty Young

This workshop is rather indulgent. On most of the others we will be working hard. Here we sit, listen, talk, analyse & deconstruct our very favourite songs & passages of music. Much can be learned by listening to the very best music around & working out just why it's so great. Talking about music is not quite such good fun as playing it, but when combined with group discussion & the opportunity to listen to & introduce others to our favourite pieces of music, it comes a close 2nd. You'll discover more about pieces of music you thought you knew backwards. So - think up a couple of trax you'd like to deconstruct.

Radio 4s Kirsty Young - Depending on

There'll be a lot of music theory to tackle, but it's important to remember that our best song smiths knew virtually nothing about music theory at all. You don't need to understand it all & you probably won't understand it all, but the bits you do understand, you'll probably find fascinating. You may find you listen to music in a completely different way after this workshop.

Before our children go to school to learn English, they can already speak fluently. Understanding grammar is not terribly important when speaking. It's interesting (ish..) & explains how a language works. Music theory is the same. You may not know why certain musical tricks work so well, but you'll undoubtedly know that they do work.

We'll explore:

  • Tunes
  • Harmony
  • Rhythms
  • Chord progressions
  • Bass lines
  • Song Structures (Intro verses chorus etc)
  • Sounds
  • Vocals
  • Norms & radical departures
  • The X factor. Just what is it that makes this piece of music extraordinary?

We'll be playing back chunks of music. We'll be counting bars. We'll be working out chord structures.

Circle of fifths

You'll be encouraged to have ideas of pieces of music you find extraordinary. We'll find them on-line & play them. We'll discuss the piece & see what everyone else thinks. You'll be encouraged to put into words what's unique about it & what's not.

Please do bring a back up MP3 player / CD in case of broadband technical issues.hough many of the artists & writers of the chosen music may be dead, they'll still be giving us a masterclass in how to write great music.

Some of the best crafted music ever written eventually becomes a victim of it's own sublimesness. People hear it too often, perhaps resent the success & label it too commercial simply because it's so well crafted & popular. At RockSchool, all this great music is still great & I hope no one will sneer at any ideas from the floor.

Great music & great learning can be had from:

  • Abba
  • George Michael
  • Bee Gees
  • Michael Jackson
  • Madonna
  • Mozart
  • Philip Glass
  • Coldplay...!

All cool... to Rock School

You'll probably find that you listen to music in a completely different way after this workshop.

Michael Jackson Mozart Coldplay Philip Glass George Michael Madonna Abba Bee Gees

Of course you can choose anything not on the naff list, but much on this list has great lessons for us, so don't be shy at delving in.


If you like you can choose 8 traxs & send these to me in advance. Use the email link below.

These will be listed at the beginning of the class. We'll vote on what to deconstruct. Otherwise I'll take a couple of tracks from each on the day

We'll probably get to get tear apart to around 20 tracks.


mob: 07970 744986
landline: 01337 842434

Weavers Hall, Bank Close, Newburgh
KY14 6EG