And here’s another record – TWO posts in one day!

Playing for Pershore High School’s Christmas Services this week had an added note of interest. In August, the organist Carlo Curley died, aged only 59. I spent a few days with him some years ago when he was demonstrating, to a deputation from Pershore Abbey, the first ever custom built hybrid pipe-cum-digital organ in Trono in Sweden. He was a warm and funny character, a flamboyant and exceptionally gifted organist and musician and I count myself privileged to have known him and to have been called “Treasure Balls ” by him!

Carlo's Organ 2 In October his ashes were interred in the grounds of Pershore Abbey because of his strong connections there and his touring organ was imported for the service. It has been loaned to the Abbey so I had to grapple with it this week.
With about 15 minutes of practice time before the hoards arrived for the service, I did the usual thing of making sure all the stops were cancelled and gingerly pulled out one quiet one. POW!!! Huge noise!! I pressed the cancel button again. With NO stops pulled out, the organ was still making a very loud sound. So I phoned a friend…Mike, the Abbey organist.

Carlo's organ

The organ has a “crescendo” pedal – something I’ve only very vaguely heard about. It adds and builds up sounds as you push it forwards which somebody had done and left it full on. It takes no account of how many stops are pulled out – or not! Once that was silenced, I was able to tame The Beast and thoroughly enjoy myself.


Published in: on December 14, 2012 at 10:57 pm  Comments (1)  

Busy term

Is this a record?

Well, it is for me. I have had three pupils taking Grade 8 this term….one on piano, one on cello and one on double bass! The pianist from New College passed with Distinction. I’m still awaiting the results for the other two.

Published in: on December 14, 2012 at 10:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

The End is Nigh…

but no, I’m not going to repent!

It has taken 6 years to get this far, but we are about to make the final video in the series Sheila Joynes Teaches Music Theory.

We started in the summer of 2006 in the station of the West Somerset railway with the very first shot we ever took being an explanation of the two dots in a repeat sign being like the buffers on a train, followed by me nearly being run over by a steam train as I explained crotchets and quavers. The rest of the video was shot in the kitchen in my Pershore house, using a backdrop of curtains placed behind me by a television green-screen technique – the curtains were actually in Imperial College London!

It was terrifying for me at first being in front of the camera –  I don’t think I even said “Hello” in that first video – but as the years have gone on, I have become much more relaxed and able to be my silly self and have earned myself the nickname “One-Take Joynes” from my Director, Producer, Editor and partner, Stephen.

Moving to a larger house in Worcester changed the style of the videos completely and then came wide screen and high definition for Level 4 and 5, allowing us to use the other camera overhead for shots of what I was writing.

Level 5 Module 4 will be shot next weekend, all being well. All we have to do then is a generic one about instruments and the task will be complete.

Will we stop there? Yes and No!

Yes, we will stop at Grade 5 – I don’t think it’s possible to teach harmony etc by internet. You need a teacher guiding as you write. 

No – we need to go back and start again at Grade 1 re-making the videos in High Definition to future-proof them.

So the end – but not quite the finish!


Published in: on September 30, 2012 at 4:12 pm  Leave a Comment