Writing to Picture


Learn the basics of the skills involved in writing to picture in a practical, engaging three-day workshop. Starting with the initial spotting process, we'll look at how you might interpret director's notes before coming up with appropriate musical ideas. You'll learn about melody-writing, motific development, harmonisation, orchestration and sequencing using professional high-end sample libraries to bring your ideas to life. We'll also record parts of your score live, getting everyone on the course involved playing their instruments or singing, along with one or two professional musicians to play some of the more challenging solo lines.

You'll take away a professionally-mixed recording and video of your group's composition, along with newly-acquired musical skills that will hopefully stay with you for life.


I am an award-winning composer and orchestrator who studied composition and piano at the Royal Academy of Music. I have worked on eleven film scores as an orchestrator and composer of additional music. As well as having had a number of private students over the years, I've also taught composition and music technology peripatetically at Eton College, Berkshire and to class groups at Channing School, Highgate.


I've always found students do their best when there's a good balance between the theory and the practical. Music theory is full of fairly abstract concepts, none of which should been taught without a practical and fun task that utilises and demonstrates that newly-acquired knowledge. Learning music should, after all, be fun. It's all very well learning the notes of the E flat major scale, for example, but kids have very inquisitive minds and want to know not just how, but why. Indeed, it's often seen as a bit of joke that children keep asking "why?", but it's a great question: if they'd fully understood the problem, they wouldn't still be asking! This strongly influences the way I teach – it's absolutely fantastic when you ultimately see students using their understanding in a creative way.



Learn and make friends with other like-minded musicians.



Your music recorded professionally, performed both by you and your peers and professional musicians.



Following the success of the first workshop held at the end of August 2018 in Sutton Village, Bedfordshire, I would be very happy to arrange further workshops. I would love to hear from anyone who's interested, so please do send me a message – wherever you are in the UK – and if there's enough interest from other fellow musicians in the same area, I'll see what I can do!

Each workshop lasts for a total of three (not necessarily consecutive) seven-hour days over a school holiday period. The workshop would be suitable for between six and eight students of approximately the same musical ability. Anyone who has passed grade three theory or above is very welcome, though the workshop is most likely to appeal to children with a real passion for music.

I am very keen to keep this opportunity as open as possible. I can't state an exact figure until things are more firmly set in stone, but my aim is to try to keep the cost no higher than £75 per child per day at an absolute maximum. Unfortunately the cost of hall hire and equipment rental mean things quickly add up, but I will do everything I can to get the price as low as I can.

In the first instance, please fill in the form below to let me know you're interested; this does not commit you to anything. Please include information about the instrument(s) your child plays, along with the grade of the most recent theory exam they have passed. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask in the 'Message' field. I will respond to all questions and queries as soon as I can.



“Michael is a brilliant composer, music educator and my go-to orchestrator. I would highly recommend his composition workshop and I am confident students will greatly benefit from his guidance and advice.”

George Kallis

George Kallis - Film composer.

Winner of the IFMCA Breakthrough Composer of the Year Award, 2017 and recipient of the Jerry Goldsmith Award for best composer of a feature film, 2018.

"Michael brings clear thinking and first-class guidance in an environment of nurture and encouragement. His composition workshops lead the inquisitive student to good techniques that unlock the creative mind with good devices to practice and get better. I highly recommend the excellent workshop."

George Kallis

Julian Joseph - Jazz pianist, composer, arranger, educator and broadcaster.

Feedback from former students

"It was really good fun and I learned a lot. I got to meet other people with the same likes and interests as me. The best bit was when we split into pairs and worked on individual bits. I felt proud to hear my own tune being played on YouTube! Overall it was brilliant fun."

"I loved the workshop. It was informative and fun and it was great to see ideas come to life."


"I would highly recommend the music workshop as you get to do an experience that you don’t do at school and it is very fun."



Sandy, Bedfordshire, UK

07967 373349

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