Jodie Blackshaw (b. 1971, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia) is an Australian composer and conductor.
Jodie Blackshaw is currently studying a Doctorate in Musical Arts (Composition) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She is a free spirit, an experienced ensemble director, classroom music teacher, Orff-Schulwerk practitioner. The nexus of these features has created what she calls ‘Classtrumental Music’. As the name suggests, Classtrumental Music is the fusion of classroom and instrumental music. Put simply, students learn about a piece of instrumental music in an active, creative classroom setting without their instrument before they prepare and perform it with an ensemble. In a large, free, open space students move, listen, create and/or re-create particular aspects of music as individuals or in small groups, then perform for each other and reflect on the experience. This provides each student with a personal connection to the pitch, shape, motion and emotion of the music. Once complete, students apply this all-encompassing knowledge to their interpretation of printed music that has been specifically composed to complete the educational journey.
Blackshaw has been working for years to strike the right balance between each of these worlds and in 2013 launched the world’s first project piece ‘Belah Sun Woman’ with GIA Music Publications. In five movements, Belah Sun Woman traces an educational pathway for instrumental students from beginning stages to approx. Grade 2 band. The resource provides 30+ lesson plans that are dovetailed with an instructional DVD and an abundance of teaching accessories. Together this package succinctly presents an achievable Classtrumental Music teaching and learning experience for any school band program.
Says Frank Battisti of the work:
“The ultimate goal of Jodie Blackshaw’s Belah Sun Woman is “awareness” – the conductor’s awareness of their impact on the music and the individual student’s awareness of how their playing (sound, style options), attitude and knowledge influences the interpretation and performance of a musical work. This is not “just another piece” but a significant musical-educational addition to the repertory.”
In both 2012 and 2014 Jodie presented her ideas and compositions at the acclaimed Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Ill., and in spring 2015 spent five weeks touring Canada and upper New York State to present her teaching approach to school groups, university students and conference attendees.
Having won the inaugural Frank Ticheli Composition Contest in 2006 with Whirlwind, Blackshaw has since gone on to publish a further five works with publishers Manhattan Beach Music, GIA Music Publications, Brolga Music (Australia) and most recently, the American Composers Forum (ACF). Jodie’s work Letter from Sado was commissioned in 2014 for the prestigious BandQuest series hosted by the ACF; she is proud to be the first composer outside of North America to be invited to make such a contribution.
Works for Winds
- The Blessing of Light (2019)
- Earthshine (2014)
- Into the Sun (2017)
- Letter from Sado (2014)
- Peace Dancer (2017)
- Soulstrom (2010)
- Symphony No. I (2019)
- Terpsichorean Dances (2009)
- Twist (2013)
- Whirlwind (2006)
- Hand, Carolyn. "Letter from Sado." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 232-240. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.
- Jodie Blackshaw website