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Music

LET'S COMPOSE. Blackboard Productions, PO Box 16664 London SE23 1ZRpound;24.99

The motto for this excellent CD-Rom could be "Infinite Riches In A Little Room". Within its 12-cm compass you can find a wealth of musical education, exploration and enlightenment. Four primary schools and one special school in south-east London took part in composing projects, which are commemorated and explained.

The initial stimuli included stories, pictures, environmental sounds and music itself. Using nearly an hour and a half of video footage, featuring recognisably real children in reassuringly normal school halls and classrooms, the CD allows us to witness the process of composition from initial exploration, through redrafting sessions to final performances.

We also get many other materials. The lesson plans and learning objectives for each session of each project are provided. The pupils' varied notations are here, with their pictures and some of their written comments and evaluations. Teachers add their accounts of what worked best and why.

These richly specific resources are set within a broader context by the local inspector who devised the project, Chris Harrison, and who expounds the"whats" and "hows" of classroom composition with exemplary directness and clarity. The curriculum emerges as something that is not only a duty but also a pleasure to fulfil.

Tom Deveson Tom Deveson is a music education consultant and INSET provider

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