Academies host song writing summer school

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A LOCAL singer songwriter will be delivering song-writing workshops for children and adults throughout the summer.

Oldmeldrum based musician, 25-year-old JJ Bull (Joseph) has gathered a group of people from the music industry to put together a series of courses at Oldmeldrum and Inverurie Academies.

Joseph explained: “We’ll be doing question and answer sessions, and we look at old classic songs and compare them to modern day compositions, looking for similarities and differences and break them down to basics – for example songs by Rihanna and The Beatles. We’ll focus on something different each week and towards the end we’ll write a song as a class and then each student will write their own song, which we record will be able to take their song home and the last day is performance day – students will perform their song.

“Joining me on the courses will be some of Scotland’s best unsigned musicians and producers like Steven Milne, Jonathan Carr and Iain Macpherson.”

The former Film and Visual Culture student first started music at school and wrote his first song, entitled ‘Base Man’ aged about 13. He said: “I used to do violin and piano and worked through the grades but it took all the fun out of it - you learn just so you can pass the exams.

“I learned the guitar so I could write my own songs – I play acoustic and electric depending on the song but usually I use the acoustic guitar to practice and for song writing.”

Joseph, who sometimes plays with The Dinosaurs and Ten Easy Wishes, has released a self-written solo album recently entitled ‘ou sont les Elephants’ and has played solo in many parts of the world including New York, which he said was “brilliant”: “I was going to see a friend in NY and got speaking to one of the promoters which ended up with me playing at Crash Mansion - next to the world famous Bowrie Ballroom.

“It was a life long ambition. I have an obsession about New York, I did my dissertation on Films in New York. I did a lot of research on the city so actually being there was really exciting - one of the best experiences of my life.”

Joseph is keen to develop his teaching rather than seeking fame. He said: “I like playing live but I’m not obsessed with being a famous musician – I’d like to make a living out of it if I could but I’ve no aspirations to become famous.”

“I like writing with other people that’s why I want to do the summer song-writing courses to see what the young people come up with.

“I’d like to be able to develop my teaching. There are no qualifications for song writing except your last song - the qualification is the song you wrote. There is something very special about something coming from an idea and turning it into a song. I think the courses are something people will really enjoy.”

Courses run over four weeks with two-hour sessions twice a week, costing £199. To find out more about JJ Bull and the courses, visit www.thesongwritingschool.co.uk or call Joseph on 07815 938555.