Music Workshops

Robin Harrison PhD BMus(Hons)/GradRNCM FNCM (composition) ARCO (organ) LTCL(piano performance) DipLCM (singing) PGCE(QTS) MISM

Robin is an enthusiastic educator and performer who aims for experiences that leave a profound impression. He has studied with significant names as a cathedral standard organist, classical pianist, composer, improviser, jazz pianist, singer, vocal coach, choral animateur and conductor, went to the RNCM and then gained a PhD at University of Wales. He

  • is an enthusiastic and dynamic teacher with a track record of success with all pupils, irrelevant of perceived ability, age (his oldest pupils are 70), gender or social background,
  • is a guild member for the International Guild of Adjudicators, Festival and Workshop Presenters,
  • is a member of the Advisory Council to the National College of Music,
  • is on the Education Committee of the British Kodaly Academy,
  • is an Academy Teacher for the Royal College of Organists (one of nineteen nationally),
  • has been a Director of Music in numerous settings including schools designated as being ‘in challenging circumstances’ in areas of social deprivation, in international school, and UK independent schools,
  • has regular taught from Nursery to Second Year Undergraduate (RNCM),
  • has taught flute/fife, trumpet, violin, recorder, class band and chime bars on a weekly basis to whole year groups with significant development of musicianship and differentiation,
  • coaches choirs of all styles from Gospel, pop and rock to Classical including beginning to advanced technique, vocal tone, blend, harmony, improvisation, conducting and repertoire,
  • is an experienced improviser and teacher of improvisation with an album that reached no. 20 in the jazz charts in September 2014 (  His experience of teaching choral improvisation is evident not just in school teaching, but also through his Gospel influenced adult choir, Gospel Shock.
  • has himself been coached by leading singers, conductors, improvisers, educationalists, jazz musicians, improvisers, pianists and organists who are known names nationally and internationally.

Robin has lived and studied with tribes in Gambia and South Africa. He taught in Egypt for four years and learned traditional Arabic songs and Arabic violin.  He has also studied traditional music in Thailand with local people.
Robin is a specialist vocal, singing and harmony coach in Jazz, Classical and Pop, with many pupils achieving national levels, and is involved with seven different choirs per week including church (to cathedral standard), gospel, classical, pop, rock and musical theatre.  Robin is a musical pedagogist with an Inner Ear and Kodaly specialism.  His pupils have won awards every year since 2007 and some have reached national success.
Workshops and INSET
Workshops can be tailored exactly to the needs of a specific choir or school and can be made relevant to the needs of the pupils and staff eg a workshop in a school that has a music coordinator or Director of Music who is less vocally experienced will be very different to that provided to a school with someone who has greater experience.
Common topics that might need exploring include:

  • large movement games to help engage all pupils who are less interested in singing,
  • rapid routes to singing in harmony effectively and with enthusiasm,
  • singing and choral masterclasses either to help a music coordinator, to improve a choir, or perhaps to prepare for an event, festival or competition.  This can include conducting guidance should a music coordinator require and always include games that enhance ensemble as well as vocal technique activities that are fun and effective,
  • an introduction to Kodaly technique (music taught through games in such a way that it enhances pupils musicianship),
  • introducing notation through the subconscious and through practical means (so that all pupils understand reading music and so that the comprehension of notation evolves naturally rather than becoming an academic chore)
  • meaningful, differentiated WOPPS (and any whole class instrument teaching (such as recorder)).  Making WOPPS useful to every child’s development irrelevant of their prior experience (even if they are Grade 4 and the rest are beginners) and therefore differentiating tasks according to the needs of all, not simply learning an instrument technically,
  • progression – routes of progression through an activity that enhance learning rather than simply ‘singing or playing a line back’/copying the teacher,
  • improvisation – improvisational ability enhances compositions and workshops can be vocal, choral or instrumental and sessions reveal how to establish an effected framework that creates a structure that evidences progression whilst allowing for freedom within,
  • band – a class band can readily be established whether or not pupils already play instruments and they can rapidly develop the ability to comprehend chords and chord progressions in a single session,
  • orchestral masterclasses provide exercises that make players listen and performer better as an ensemble alongside enhancing pieces that have already been studied.


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