Pupil Evaluation of Composing Beyond GCSE
in the Vale of Glamorgan

General Comments
I thought the project was very beneficial and enjoyable
Hard work but worthwhile
I found the whole experience extremely enjoyable. I thought that Piano Circus were fantastic and not a negative word was said about anything.
A very enjoyable and worthwhile project
I have enjoyed the project as a whole, although at first I felt a bit dubious meeting John Metcalf for the first time. The same on the day we met with Piano Circus. I felt very apprehensive but the session turned out to be very enjoyable.

How did you feel when your piece was being performed?
I felt excited and thrilled that I had managed to compose a piece for 6 pianos, something I would never have thought to do before.
I was very excited to hear my own work played. I was very proud that I had written it.
I felt my piece was being performed brilliantly by all the musicians. I was very pleased with the way they performed my piece and the way they treated it.
Proud, nervous just in case they asked me any questions and happy to be hearing my own piece played by expert pianists.
Having my piece performed felt very strange at first, but once it got going I felt very happy with myself for composing it.

Did your piece sound like you imagined?
Yes, although the piece obviously sounded a lot better than when I imagined it in my head.
Yes, sort of. I was very pleased with it.
No. I’d imagined it slower and a lot more smoother, maybe longer.
Yes, it did - even better. I had a rough idea of what the piece would sound like, but it sounded even better hearing it played.

What is your opinion of your piece now that you have heard it performed?
I am very pleased with it and I am going to carry on developing the piece.
It was not as long as I had thought. It did not have as much life and rhythm as I had hoped.
I feel much better now I have had my piece played. I was very worried beforehand.
It’s still a good piece, however it could be longer and smoother with a lot more for each part.
I like my piece a great deal, but I think I could do more with it. Now that it has been played I can hear its potential fully and I know how I could develop it.

Did you enjoy hearing the compositions of the other students?
Yes, it was interesting to hear the level and standard of work produced by other students of the same age.
Yes, it was interesting to hear the completely contrasting styles and ideas of other pupils of the same age.
Yes, I did, but I felt some of them were too long-winded.
The majority of them I did enjoy. They were catchy and their ideas were very inspiring. Other pieces were very good and sounded professional but they were a bit long-winded and tedious.

What did you think about the professional performers Piano Circus? Did you find them inspiring in any way?
I thought the professional performers were brilliant. Their sight-reading skills were excellent. They inspired me to practise the piano a lot more and to read more music from sight.
I thought they were a very good team and I am inspired to work on my composition to improve it for the September concert (if mine is chosen to be performed).
I thought they were fantastic. They inspired me to do more practising.
Yes, they were all very dedicated and their relationship with each other enabled them to be a very tight good working group.
I was very impressed with Piano Circus and thought they were lovely down-to-earth people. I found them to be very inspiring as they made me look at the way I play the piano and my technique has improved greatly after watching them.

Do you think the project will motivate you in any way with your music studies?
Yes, it will motivate me to do more composition work.
The comments that Piano Circus gave me were helpful in score and parts writing.
I will try to work harder on my compositions because the end result is worth it.
I think it will give me a boost to obtaining a good grade at the end of my A Levels.
Yes, I will feel a lot more confident about composing in the future.

Have your ambitions for a career changed at all after this project?
Not as such, although I am not completely sure as to what I want to do job-wise in the future.
No, I am just going to work harder to fulfil them.
I have never been certain of what I would like to do career-wise. I have always wanted to do something ‘musical’ and I can definitely say that watching Piano Circus and being in such an environment has influenced me.

Will your attitudes towards composition change at all after this experience?
Yes, I feel I will work a lot harder at it now.
Yes. It has shown me a new way of going about composition.
Yes, they will change. I will try to work harder.
My ideas after this will be broader and better after hearing what I could do.
Now that I am more familiar with the process of composing my attitude has improved because I have gained more confidence.

Do you feel more confident as a composer / musician? If so, in what ways?
I definitely feel more confident because I thought the project was very uplifting. Also there wasn’t a negative point said about anyone’s composition.
Yes. I am more confident. I can write for an unusual group and have tried a different style of composition.
Yes. I feel very confident now because I created a piece that I thing sounded really good.
Yes, I am more sure of myself when it comes to composing. I can now experiment with lots of ideas and inspiration that I had during the workshops.
I definitely feel more confident as a composer. In my opinion, composing for six pianos is one of the hardest things I will have to do. I found it a challenge and I enjoyed it. From this I have gained more confidence and will approach any other task in the same way.

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