Feedback from Viral Music

(added 29/5/20) 


Did you enjoy the workshops? 
Yes, a lot (100% of participants) 
Would you be interested in doing another workshop at some point in the future? 
Yes (100% of participants) 

Comments from participants: 
"A new way to approach musical composition"

"A good way to engage creatively with others during lockdown"

Viral Music is an online community music and writing project for residents of the Bradford District, funded by the Bradford Council Covid-19 Response Fund.  It starts on 12th May 2020 and runs for two weeks.

With professional guidance and support (that'll be me), participants will collaborate online to create their own music and lyrics.  They will develop their own themes and ideas, to create something that explores both the positive and negative aspects of our lives during this difficult time.   

If that all sounds a little too high-brow, then it's also a great opportunity to just have some fun with music, make some friends, and maybe pick up some tips and tricks about creating music and lyrics along the way.  The emphasis will be on fun, rather than creating masterpieces.  Separate online workshops will be tailored to different ability levels, so that - hopefully - everyone can get something out of it...without feeling either overwhelmed or held back.

The project is open to anyone, regardless of musical ability, age, or any other factors, living in the Bradford District.  

I am grateful to Bradford Metropolitan District Council for supporting this project with a ‘Response’ grant.


How will it work?

Viral Music will involve six online group meetings (two for beginners, two for intermediate and two for advanced members) via Zoom.  You'll meet fellow participants to play with sounds and words, as a way of exploring our experiences of social distancing and lockdown. 

Advice and support will also be available from me between workshops though a private Facebook group (see below). Participants are also welcome to use the Facebook group to work together on their ideas between workshops, if they wish.  There are no set targets.  It’s the experience and enjoyment that is the most important part in this project. 

Together, hopefully, we will begin to develop and assemble our ideas - ideas which will then be used as a starting point for the next group along (ie beginner to intermediate, intermediate to advanced). 

If we're lucky, and only if everyone is comfortable with the idea, any recordable results of our work can be posted online, either for our own private enjoyment or (if everyone agrees) for public listening. 


What is involved? 

If you'd like to take part, you need to complete the Registration Form below, which asks for some basic information. If you are under 18, I'll need a parent or guardian to do this on your behalf.

You will then receive an email with a link to your first workshop. 

  • Beginner workshops: Tuesday 12th May and Thursday 14th May
  • Intermediate workshops: Friday 15th May and Tuesday 19th May
  • Advanced workshops: Wednesday 20th May and Friday 22nd May

All workshops will begin at 11am and last for no longer than an hour

You will be invited to join the Viral Music Facebook Group. This is a private group where you are free to share your thoughts and ideas with members of all the different groups.  However, you don't have to join if you don't want to.


What workshop group should I sign up for?

It's often hard to weigh up your own abilities!  What if you write loads of lyrics but have never played a note?  What if you are a great singer but have always sung other people's songs?  What if you're neither of these things?!  I get it.  These groups are not set in stone - they're just a guide to try and group people in such a way that they'll have the most fun with the least awkwardness. So with that in mind, here's a rough guide...

Beginner - this is for anyone with little or no prior experience making music or writing lyrics. We'll be developing simple musical and lyrical ideas. Instruments are not even essential. Clapping, bottle neck blowing, children's xylophones, spoons, home-made shakers, banging a radiator (we tried that the other night), singing la la la, anything!

Intermediate - you have an instrument and can play some chords or a melody. Perhaps you haven't played for a long time, or maybe you've done a bit of lyric/creative writing before. In this group we'll look at the ideas from the beginner's group, and see how we can explore them further using instruments and writing. 

Advanced - you've written songs or lyrics (or both) before, or you feel proficient in an instrument or using your voice, or writing creatively. In this group we'll take the ideas from the beginner and intermediate groups, and see if we can take them further.


What do I need to bring to the online sessions? 

Members of the beginner group do not need an instrument. 

Members of the intermediate and advanced groups - bring an instrument if you have one, but it's not mandatory.  Ideas, 'found' sounds, lyrics or even just encouragement of your peers are often just as valuable as a blazing guitar riff.

Please have some form of writing material on hand - paper or electronic - in case you wish to make notes.

(Optional) You may want to have some means of recording yourself, in case you come up with something that you want to capture so you don't forget it. Smartphone voice memo apps are excellent for this.


Are children welcome? 

Children over the age of four are completely welcome, but I would ask that parents of younger children sit in on the session. Older children are of course welcome, either accompanied or alone, at their parent's discretion.

For anyone under 18, a parent or guardian will need to complete the registration form on their behalf.

If there are enough children I'll run a separate group (or groups) just for them.  I hold a current DBS certificate, and was working in St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Bradford, right up until the Covid lockdown.


What about my privacy? 

Workshops will be digitally recorded on Zoom, so that we don’t lose any great musical or lyrical ideas along the way, or should there be any content that we decide to use in a possible final recording.

By signing up for the project you are giving your consent to this.


What next?

If you would like to be involved in Viral Music, please complete the registration form below. I'll then be in touch with full details of your first workshop and a link to the Zoom session.

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via the Contact Page or by email to

Participation in the project is voluntary and members are completely free to withdraw at any time, without giving any reason.



Registration Form

Sign up to the mailing list for all the latest news and events, well in advance of everyone else.

You'll also receive a free download of a previously unreleased radio edit of my song "ps...", recorded by Le Néon Noir.

No information is ever shared.