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Newsletter April 2021


Around the Globe Music & Arts strongly supports the COMPOSE YOURSELF! 

A newly established online piano composition festival is developed by notable music educators and composers, Lindsey Berwin and Alison Mathews.

·         Compose Yourself! welcomes compositions from UK pianists aged 5 to 18.

·         Deadline for submissions is 31st May 2021.

Entrants need to submit a video of themselves playing their composition and in return will receive an encouraging comment sheet, a certificate and a piece of music written by a leading composer. Winners in the competitive category will receive books of music at their playing level. For full information go to


Compose Yourself! is a new and exciting online piano composition festival developed by us to reflect our passion for encouraging creativity in students from an early age. Our teaching experience has taught us how beneficial composing can be, and in a variety of different ways. For some students it provides a means of developing self-confidence in a way that playing never has, for others a means of self-expression. Most importantly it brings together different aspects of musical learning for all students. Composing can lead to a deeper understanding of music at all levels and ages in a creative way…

We spent some time developing our ideas, and held a trial event last year with a small group of colleagues and their pupils which was a great success. As a result, we were delighted to launch the 2021 Festival this summer, with June Armstrong and Nikolas Sideris as adjudicators. We were also fortunate to have been given an amazing amount of support in setting up the event, with generous sponsorship from EPTA and prizes of music being donated by publishers such as Faber, Trinity College London and Editions Musica Ferrum. The reception that Compose Yourself! received, together with the number of entries and their quality, exceeded all our expectations, and cemented our aim to make this an annual event. Details of how to register interest in the 2021 Festival are on our website…

Although the immediate aim of the festival is to provide a goal for students and a way to share their music, we would like to achieve more than that. We want to encourage and support teachers, especially those who feel less confident or have little experience of introducing composition into lessons. To enable this, we are offering resources and guidance in the form of free printable activity sheets, an animation ideal for a sound track project and a growing list of books and articles. These resources are created from our direct experience of teaching composition – they are tried and tested! They are all available from our website. 

In addition, we will be presenting a webinar for the European Piano Teachers Association on November the 7th 2021, where we will introduce and explain our ideas on how to approach teaching composition.

To learn more about our festival, please visit www.composeyourself and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Composers who have contributed their music to the event


Alison Mathews

Alison is a pianist, composer and teacher with a thriving private teaching practice in Surrey.  After graduating from the Royal College of Music, she went on to complete a masters’ degree at Surrey University with the philosophy of music at the heart of her studies.

Alison’s interest in composition grew out of a desire to provide her students with imaginative music to play that would give them the opportunity to explore the full range and sonority of the piano whilst exploring different techniques.  Her published work includes a varied portfolio of educational books, such as Doodles 1 and 2 and Treasure Trove, as well as commissions from ABRSM, Trinity College London and Breitkopf & Härtel. Alison has also had works included in the exam syllabi for ABRSM and RIAM and has contributed to several anthologies.

Lindsey Berwin

Lindsey grew up in Cardiff and Leeds, and then spent four years studying at The Royal Academy of Music. After a brief period of working as a classroom music teacher, she decided to refocus on piano teaching. Since then, she has followed this path, together with that of performing, amassing some thirty-five years of experience. In 2002, Lindsey became employed by Queen Elizabeth Grammar School and Wakefield Girls’ High School, where she continues to have a busy and thriving teaching practice.

​Lindsey has become well-known for her innovative approaches to improving key skills whilst maintaining enjoyment for her students. She is the composer of FunKey!, a series of books designed to improve piano students’ sight reading skills using jazz based material, and Jazz Keys, its counterpart for the flute. In 2017 her suite of piano pieces entitled All the Fun of the Fair, suitable for intermediate and advanced students, was published. This was followed in 2018 by a set of advanced pieces entitled Vignettes, and then by Jazzagility!, a series of graded piano technique books in the jazz idiom. Her many piano works has also featured on the repertoire list of Around the Globe Piano Music Festival since 2018.


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