Teaching and Creativity in Popular Music

Please note that this event is in the past.

Study day on teaching and creativity in popular music

Studio One, Performing Arts and Technology Studio, Stag Hill Campus, University of Surrey
Saturday 10 June 2017, 10am-4:15pm


Please register your (free) attendance at the following link, and/or just turn up on the day:

Please note that tea/coffee/water and biscuits will be available during the breaks, but that lunch will not be provided. There will be outlets on campus from which to purchase food.


The University of Surrey is located in Guildford, 40 minutes away from London Waterloo by train. 

For location and travel information, please see the University of Surrey visitors’ page: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/visit-university.

A campus map may be downloaded here: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/files/pdf/campusmap.pdf (the Performing Arts and Technology Studio is labelled ‘PATS’).


Download Programme as a PDF

9:30 Arrival

10am Welcome

10:10am Paper session

  • ‘Learning to Learn: An Ecological Approach to Teaching’
    Liz Pipe and Simon Zagorski-Thomas (London College of Music, University of West London) 
  • ‘Blank Canvas: (CH)Art Schools – From Itten to Eno or Dada to DA DA DA’
    Simon Strange (Bath Spa University)

11:10am Break

11:30am Roundtable discussion

  • ‘Pedagogical Practice in Popular Music Teaching in Higher Education: Creative approaches and continuing challenges’
    Christian Kennett (University of Westminster), Monica Esslin-Peard (University of Liverpool), Remy Martin (Leeds College of Music/University of Surrey), Christopher Wiley (convener, University of Surrey) 

12:30pm Lunch

1:30pm Teach-in Workshops 1

  • New Musical Theatre Writing in an Educational Context
    Alex Loveless (London College of Music, University of West London) 
  • Do it Wrong: Repurposing Technology to Inspire Learning 
    Bill Thompson (University of Surrey)

2:40pm Break 

3pm Teach-in Workshops 2

  • Universal Truths: Archetypes in Contemporary Songwriting
    Angela Blacklaw (The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance)
  • Hybrid Hip-Hop Production as Pedagogical Paradigm
    Mike Exarchos (University of Westminster)

4:10pm Close

Further information

Enquiries: c.wiley@surrey.ac.uk 

Organising Committee: Dr Christopher Wiley (University of Surrey, Chair), Dr Christian Kennett (University of Westminster), Liz Pipe (University of West London), Professor Simon Zagorski-Thomas (University of West London), Remy Martin (Leeds College of Music/University of Surrey).

The London and South-East England 21st Century Music Practice Research Network (http://www.uwl.ac.uk/academic-schools/music/lcm-research/current-research-projects/21st-century-music-practice) was established by Professor Simon Zagorski-Thomas (University of West London) in 2016, to encourage and disseminate research and scholarly collaboration and stimulate discourse between popular music disciplines. Enquiries: simon.zagorski-thomas@uwl.ac.uk

Call for participants

A one-day study day to be hosted at the University of Surrey, Saturday 10 June 2017, as part of the London and South-East England 21st Century Music Practice Research Network.

The brave new world of the Teaching Excellence Framework, national league tables, and escalating tuition fees has yielded an unprecedented accountability regarding the quality of higher education teaching and the associated student experience. Its implications are doubly important to the teaching of popular music, given the proliferation of university courses witnessed in the last 10–15 years as well as the relative newness of the discipline as a serious academic pursuit.

In light of the current environment for the academic profession in the UK, this study day seeks to provide a forum for focussed discussion of issues concerning teaching creatively – as well as teaching creativity – in relation to popular music. All manifestations of pedagogic practice – musicological/analytical, performance, composition/songwriting, production, and recording – may be considered under its aegis. Popular music is to be interpreted in the broad sense, incorporating fields as diverse as musical theatre, music for visual media, electronic music, and ethnomusicology.

20-minute presentations (plus 10 minutes for questions) are invited on any aspect of teaching in/and creativity in popular music. Presentations adopting non-conventional or alternative formats (e.g. incorporating a practical component) are welcomed and encouraged.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent by 7 April 2017 to the Chair of the Organising Committee, Dr Christopher Wiley, to whom enquiries may also be directed: c.wiley@surrey.ac.uk

Expressions of interest are additionally invited for contributors in the following areas (please contact the Chair of the Organising Committee in the first instance):

  • 5-minute position statements on recent innovative, transformational, or otherwise distinct interventions in university-level popular music teaching
  • Participants for a proposed roundtable discussion on the relationship between research and teaching in the contemporary UK university environment

Decisions will be communicated to contributors by 28 April 2017. A full programme of events will be announced shortly thereafter.

The venue for the study day will be Studio One in the Performing Arts and Technology Studio, Stag Hill Campus, University of Surrey.