Audrey Podmore, composer, music teacher and facilitator, has long been a pioneering user of music technology to improve access to music. In 2002, she set up the creative music publishing company, The Full Pitcher Music Resources, with an innovative website at http://www.fullpitcher.co.uk. She hopes that by harnessing the power of the internet she will be able to help more people access the resources and education they need in order to build their confidence and musicianship. The website is a distribution channel for Audrey’s own resources and for materials developed by like-minded composers and community musicians.
Having left school at 16, Audrey had worked for a time in voluntary service to elderly and disabled people, when a chance encounter decided her professional path. She struck up a conversation with a teacher committed to broadening access to music education: “Well”, said her new-found friend, “you have so many ideas about this – why don’t you do it yourself?” “Yes”, thought Audrey, “I will!” Undeterred by the fact that, at that time, an elementary standard of piano playing was her only musical achievement, she set about getting a thorough musical education. Ten years later, and having had the immense good fortune to study with the most inspired and inspiring of teachers herself, Audrey was a fully qualified music teacher, focussed on developing her own creativity and that of anyone else who cared to explore with her. Obstacles were there simply to be overcome!
In the 1980s, a marvellous new tool emerged with which to batter down the barriers to music-making experienced by the physically disabled young people Audrey was teaching at that time: the personal computer had arrived. In 1985 they were demonstrating their skills on the BBC World Service’s “Music Today” programme and at various festivals and exhibitions. Despite having not the slightest interest in the emerging technology for its own sake, Audrey exploited it to the full as the servant of creative musicianship. So much so that, much to her frustration, people still find her ideas innovative and most do less to harness the potential of the ever more powerful equipment in their living room or classroom than was possible back then.
In 1994, Audrey established two personally funded projects, Living My Song and The Full Pitcher, for research and development in the areas of creative and inclusive music-making. Technology’s contribution was documented in “Music Technology and Curriculum Access”, published in 2001 and the focus on creativity has born fruit in resources published by The Full Pitcher Music Resources and registered with UK Curriculum Online. Audrey was previously moderator of the music section of Becta’s (British educational technology agency) Teachers Resource Exchange.