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Composition and Performance

with Ian Ross and John Pfumojena

8th March – 19th March 

Wise Children’s Head of Music, Ian Ross, and MD and Performer, John Pfumojena, will guide you through the process of creating music for the stage; from composition right through to performance. You will learn to compose from found lyrics, communicate musical ideas with and without notation and how a composer can work with the performer to bring their piece to life.

We're looking for brilliant musicians and producers, with little or no experience composing for theatre, who are ready to continue their journey in musical creation. You do not need to play an instrument to take part in this course, but you will need to be able to develop and record (audio or old fashioned pen and paper) musical ideas for sharing.

To apply, complete the application form and upload a link to your portfolio OR a one-minute video example of one of your compositions. For help recording your video click here. If you have any questions about the course, please contact



Applications are now closed but you can still attend the Workroom Talk.

SfWC - Winter Workshop - Sqaure Cards_Co

Dates – Monday 8th March to Tuesday 19th March.

The course will involve 10 hours of contact time online and there will be tasks to work on between sessions.

Here is a provisional schedule for the course.

Timings can and may change depending on student availability.

Price - £135 (includes membership to the Wise Children Club) with free places available

As a course student you will automatically receive a free ticket to your subject’s Workroom Talk. If you buy a ticket before receiving your place, this can be refunded.

About the course leaders

Ian Ross

Ian is Wise Children's Head of Music and leads the band Eleven Magpies.

Theatre as Composer includes: Wise Children, Malory Towers (Wise Children); Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (Kneehigh).

Theatre as Performer and Music Director includes: Wise Children (Wise Children, Old Vic and UK Tour); The Red Shoes, Don John, The Wild Bride, Tristan and Yseult, Dead Dog in a Suitcase, The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (Kneehigh).

Ian is an Associate Artist of Kneehigh.

Ian Ross

John Pfumojena

John is a Wise Children performer.

Theatre includes: Peter Pan in Peter Pan (National Theatre/ Bristol Old Vic/Troubadour Theatre), Okot in The Jungle (The Curran, San Francisco, St Anne's, Brooklyn, Playhouse Theatre, West End, Young Vic), No One Is An Island (Tangle International), Wolf in Bent (National Theatre), Sebastian in Twelfth Night (Shakespeare's Globe), Zulu in Workshop Negative (Tangle International), Heron in I Am Thomas (National Theatre of Scotland/Told by an Idiot), Borachio in Much A Do About Nothing (Reps Theatre Zimbabwe). 

Musical Direction, Composition & Arrangement include: The Jungle (The Curran, San Francisco, St Anne's, Brooklyn, Playhouse Theatre, West End, Young Vic), Dr Faustus & Volpone (Tangle Theatre Company), Colours (Chipawo, Zimbabwe) and Dream (Ignite Africa). Additional Composition: Beasty Baby (Theatre-Rites/Polka Theatre).

John has won the following awards: Best Featured Actor in a Play - The Jungle (Broadway World Awards, San Francisco) 2019, OBIE Special Citation Award (Actor/Composer) - The Jungle, 2019 and Zimbabwe Young Achievers’ Awards UK - HONORARY AWARD for contribution to Theatre and Music, 2019

*The School for Wise Children is committed to making theatrical training accessible and offers at least 50% of our places for free to those who would not be able to train otherwise. Due to our funding, we are unable to offer free places to those outside the UK. You need to be aged 18 or older to participate in a School for Wise Children course.