Have you ever played a ‘Blackshaw’ with your wind ensemble? If you have,then you know that a work by this Australian composer-educator is different from the norm. You will also know that it takes you, the Director, on an alternate educational pathway that for some, is a little uncomfortable at first. That said you would also know that it is a surprise package, an audience favorite and presents you the director with interesting conducting challenges.
Such is the work of Jodie Blackshaw (b. 1971).
Blackshaw’s unique perspective is the result of commencing her professional musician life as a composer after studying a Bachelor of Music degree in composition with Larry Sitsky at the Australian National University. In the early post degree years, Jodie worked as a self-employed peripatetic music tutor and band director at first in remote regional centres and then in Sydney. Further study in music education including the Orff-Schulwerk approach completed her portfolio of music education influences.
Her one-on-one teaching experience provided much needed perspective on how children think about music and it was not uncommon for Jodie to compose specific works for her ensembles to accommodate the vast differences in ability and ensemble instrumentation. These early experiences have been reinforced through post-graduate study into Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory, the 12 brain/mind principles of education (Geoffrey Caine and Renate Nummela Caine) and more recently, Laban Movement Theory and its intersection between music, movement, and the
Jodie has been in demand these past 12 months presenting at symposiums, conferences and completing in-house residencies at celebrated universities
and schools in Canada, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates. Blackshaw is fanatical about producing quality, meaningful works for wind
Band, and is frequently commissioned by various groups throughout the western world to do just that. She desires that her music not just be "another
piece, but an educational and spiritual journey for all".
To find out more about Jodie and her works please go to: www.jodieblackshaw.com.