All posts by Taffs Well Music Studio

Music education and publishing

Work Experience at Taff’s Well Music Studio



Hours 10am – 1.00pm & 1.30pm – 3.00pm Monday – Friday

Person Specification

We expect our work experience personnel to have a background in music performance and music theory. Ideally the candidate will have obtained ABRSM Grade 5 music theory or have  comparable arranging skills for popular music and be studying GCSE/AS/A Level/Undergraduate Music/Music Technology/I.T./Performing Arts/Graphic Design. We prefer candidates with good IT skills, experience of using the notation software system Sibelius/Ableton and a good standard of written and spoken English.

We are a laid-back home-based working environment and the placement would suit a positive, enthusiastic candidate who is willing to learn. There is no dress code. Please bring your own lunch and be on time. We will provide tea and coffee etc.

Job Description

Running a music studio is a highly administrative task. We will expect the candidate to undertake the following tasks: –

1) Photocopying/Printing: We are currently putting together a library of sheet music. The candidate will need to photocopy arrangements of musical works as directed by us and place them into display files of music. We may also ask the candidate to scan paperwork onto our computer as we are working towards a paperless office. We may also ask the candidate to print photographs and learning materials to laminate for students. There may also be other administrative tasks such as answering the phone and filling in spread-sheets.

2) Uploading Audio: We are currently digitalising our vast collection of CDs onto a hard drive. The candidate will be expected to load the disc into a computer and, where possible, categorize it by genre (i.e. classical, jazz, pop, dance music)

3) Social Media Content Creation: We operate a social media strategy using the programme Hootsuite. This comprises of 21 pre-scheduled messages for Twitter (3 per day) which is linked to our WordPress website The candidate will be trained in using these tools. This may involve an element of research on the internet for interesting content for our students (i.e. free sheet music sites, music theory resources, interesting concerts in the local area, opportunities for performance, training courses etc).

4) Arranging Music with Sibelius:  We run mother and toddler music sessions at a local nursery. The candidate will be expected to arrange nursery rhymes into a piano score with a simple LH harmony. These nursery rhymes will then need to be transposed into every one of the 12 keys. Again training will be provided.

5) Composing using Ableton: For the above mentioned mother and toddler group we will require you to make an interesting arrangement of the nursery rhyme previously arranged on Sibelius using the DAW software platform Ableton 8.  Again full training will be provided. If the candidate is a skilled performer they may bring their instrument to record.

6) Performance: We may decide to have a jam at some point too if the candidate enjoys improvisation and wants to have a go. We may film this performance for social media content for the school. Parents will need to sign a disclaimer form.

If the candidate performs their tasks to a satisfactory standard then there will be a financial reward or a demo recording at the end of the week and opportunities for further casual paid work in the summer holidays. A reference will also be provided.


How to find us…

Call us on 02920217684 or 07519555282 or  contact us via email: –

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

Or contact us on Skype at : TaffsWellMusic

Or use the form below and we’ll get back to you.


DJ & Music Technology


Calling all aspiring DJ’s and producers!!


Taffs Well Music Studio is now offering DJ and Music Technology lessons.  Learn how to create, mix and DJ the most cutting edge styles of contemporary music.


Master the software involved such as Ableton and Traktor in our fully kitted studio.


Learn the secrets of the pro’s with our in house expert, who will tailor your lessons to suit your needs.


Give us a call on 07519555282 , or 02920217684 to find out more!


Music Party In Aid of Ty Hafan the Children’s Hospice in Wales

TWMS is going to run a music party in aid of Ty Hafan the children’s hospice in Wales. We will aim to broadcast this event using live streaming technology to the entire world.

The gig will run from 12pm on Saturday 20th July until late.

Line Up So Far: –

Ben Franks
Climbing Trees
Ellie Makes Music
Elinor Berwer
Frances Jenkins Solo Piano Set
Gwen Hill Solo Piano Set
Tiny Twms Kids Show
Rachel Parry
Y-Chrome DJ set

£2 entry on the door all proceeds to charity.

TWMS Events Summer 2013

We have a lot of exciting events in the pipeline including: –

Tiny Twms Sessions @Gwaelod Village Hall (24th June)

Frances Jenkins @The Glastonbury Fringe Festival (26th -29th June)

The Ty Hafan Music Marathon @Taffs Well Music Studio (July 20th),

The Big Green Gathering (1st – 4th Aug)

Tiny Twms @The Beautiful Days Festival (16th – 18th Aug)

More events to follow…..


Ty Hafan Logo

Beautiful Days LogoGreen-Gathering Picture

Digital Literacy and the Knowledge Gap in Contemporary Music Education

Here is my full essay on the subject ‘How Digital Musicians Learn:  Digital Literacy and the Knowledge Gap in Contemporary Music Education’.

It is available to download as a PDF

Here is the introduction:


Digital Literacy and the Knowledge Gap in Contemporary Music Education:

How Digital Musicians Learn


Benjamin Jenkins

The digital age has transformed every aspect of media.  From production, consumption, distribution and knowledge, the way we interact with media changes “the way that we think and also has a profound impact upon the ways in which we communicate and express ourselves” (Dubber:2012).  This shift in communication has led to a new generation of people who take these changes for granted, where technology is integrated into almost every aspect of life and has become second nature to them.  The rise of the digital musician is a direct result of these changes.

The advent of industrialisation towards the end of the nineteenth century brought about massive changes in access to education and knowledge, in order to create a workforce literate enough to work effectively in a new media age. Similarly, the digital age has brought about a shift from an industrial society to a knowledge society, but the “massive and sustained public investment in schools and (later on) universities” of the previous era “has not been matched” (Hartley, 2008).  The ways in which digital musicians learn, create and share their knowledge in the virtual world of the internet differs greatly from the previous generation, yet very little of these new skills are taught in formal education settings.   There is a knowledge gap opening between this generation and the last, between those who are digitally illiterate and those who are digitally fluent. In this essay I will discuss how digital musicians use new technology to learn and to create, and the role of music education infrastructure in the digital age.


Read more here

Notating Music by Hand

Attention to detail is the most important factor when it comes to written theory exams. In ABRSM exams for example you will lose one mark per inaccuracy for written music. This means something that is theoretically correct can become worth no points because of lack of detail such as phrasing and articulation.

Here’s a handy check-list  to use to double check your work  so you can successfully get all the detail you need into your score.

1. Clef, Key Signatures and Time Signatures

2. Draw in all bar-lines next – this helps to keep your work tidy.

3. Note-heads and Rests

4. Stems and Beams – use a ruler

5. Phrasing, Ties and Articulation

6. Dynamics

7. Expression and tempo markings.

Dave Brubeck 1920 – 2012

I was very sad to hear that Dave Brubeck passed away today.  Brubeck was an innovative keyboard player  and composer – a good example of someone with classical training who could not read sheet music. His music featured many irregular time signatures including Take Five in 5/4, Unsquare Dance in 7/8 and Rondo All Turk in 9/8 (or to be more precise in 2+2+2+3/8).

Anyway here’s the tribute played on our Korg SV1 Rhodes emulation: – 

How Music Makes Us Feel

Last week I posted a blog about the value of music, and how it’s not just monetary value that gives it it’s worth. It is something far more than that, something intangible that has eluded scholars and artists for hundreds of years.  It has a power that cannot be expressed with words – an innate quality akin to trying to describe emotions themselves.  It brings people together in festival and divides opinion with taste; it brings a tear to the eye and a smile to the lips.  It’s power is manifest in ceremonies such as funerals where the simplest melody can cause a cascade of powerful emotion.  It can bring about states of religious fervour and trances.  Babies understand music before they understand language, and a song from childhood can transport an elderly person with dementia straight back to that wonderful place.  It can take you on an extraordinary journey or make you hyper aware of the time and place you’re in.  It creates a sense of identity, time and place.

It has many contrasting qualities, all of which I love.  This is the real reason musicians make music, the reason many of us dedicate hours and hours of our lives to mastering our craft.  When it stops being about that, and starts being about money, or looking good in the eyes of others, or just a fashion statement is when I believe music loses it’s soul.  Not that these things are inherently bad,  they come hand in hand with music, but when it’s solely about those things we start to lose that real power.

Last night there was a great documentary on BBC by Alan Yentob, called How Music Makes us Feel, about this very subject.  Yentob has made many great and thought provoking documentaries on music, and this is one of his best.  He describes something about music that I believe is being forgotten in this digital age, an age where our gigabytes of – and endless streams of –  music may be de-sensitising us.  All this debate about the collapse of the industry, peer to peer pirates and loudness wars is missing the real point:  it is the feeling that music gives us that matters the most.

Watch it and remember that first time a song gave you goosebumps.

How Music Makes Us Feel