Dr James Humberstone

Lecturer in Music Education

C41 - Sydney Conservatorium of Music
The University of Sydney

Telephone 02 9351 1270

Website Personal website

Biographical details

James Humberstone's output is influenced by his research background in experimental music, and his interest in composing for children and community ensembles. Born in London, Humberstone migrated to Australia in 1997 after completing a degree in composition at the University of Exeter. His honours thesis was on the music of Howard Skempton, with whom Humberstone studied briefly after graduating. Humberstone has often cited Skempton as his greatest influence.

Humberstone undertook further studies with Anne Boyd at the University of Sydney (MMus), and with John Peterson and Andrew Schultz at the University of New South Wales (PhD). Over the first decade of this century his focus changed from the exploration of minimalist and experimentalist structures (for example Chance : Chants (2002), Requiem (2002, 2006)) to composing for children.

Composer-in-Residence at MLC School in Sydney from 2002 to 2013, and often invited to residences at other schools around Australia and the world, Humberstone has had a great number of opportunities to develop his voice while writing within the limitations imposed when composing for children. He scaffolds extensive repertoire (for example his children's opera Kiravanu (2008) or Symphony of the Child (2009)) with sound pedagogy and learning resources. In 2013 Humberstone became a full time lecturer in Music Education at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Recently Humberstone has begun to combine his aesthetic interest - pairing back music to its essences and involving the performer in the act of interpretation through open forms - with his educational experience in a number of works: The Speaking Piano (2012) combined a children's book, eBook, webapp and simple piano repertoire with concert music commissioned by the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium and premiered by Michael Kieran Harvey; while Cycles and Circles (2012) was a commission for Ensemble Offspring's Music to Infinity tour and included a downloadable education kit.

Selected publications & creative works

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Books

  • Humberstone, J., Ricketson, D. (2008). Stepping stones: teacher resource kit. Sydney, Australia: Australian Music Centre.

Journals

  • Humberstone, J. (2010). Not just an experience: The children's opera "kiravanu' as a medium for learning. Music in Action, 7(5), 15-17.
  • Humberstone, J. (2009). The Creative Teacher: How to use technology to produce learning materials. Music in Action, 7(1), 8-11.
  • Humberstone, J. (2008). Following the least-trodden paths. Resonate, (2).

Conferences

  • Humberstone, J. (2013). Computer-aided analysis of Malcolm Williamson's approach to composing his cassations for musically-untrained children. XIX National Australian Society for Music Education Conference (ASME 2013), Parkville, Australia: Australian Society for Music Education.
  • Johnston, A., Humberstone, J. (2010). Elective Music Students Experiences with Jam2Jam. The 7th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment, Wellington, New Zealand: Interactive Entertainment.

Musical Compositions

  • Humberstone, J. (2013). Before Day. Sydney, Australia: Hummingsong Music Publications Pty Ltd.
  • Humberstone, J. (2013). Campanella. Sydney, Australia: Hummingsong Music Publications Pty Ltd.
  • Humberstone, J. (2013). Passion. Sydney, Australia: Self Published..
  • Humberstone, J. (2013). The Riemann Hypothesis. Sydney, Australia: Hummingsong Music Publications Pty Ltd.
  • Humberstone, J. (2013). Three for Two Flutes: 1. mannasaettir i 2. mannasaettir ii 3. mannasaettir iii. Sydney, Australia: Reed Music Pty Ltd.

2013

  • Humberstone, J. (2013). Before Day. Sydney, Australia: Hummingsong Music Publications Pty Ltd.
  • Humberstone, J. (2013). Campanella. Sydney, Australia: Hummingsong Music Publications Pty Ltd.
  • Humberstone, J. (2013). Computer-aided analysis of Malcolm Williamson's approach to composing his cassations for musically-untrained children. XIX National Australian Society for Music Education Conference (ASME 2013), Parkville, Australia: Australian Society for Music Education.
  • Humberstone, J. (2013). Passion. Sydney, Australia: Self Published..
  • Humberstone, J. (2013). The Riemann Hypothesis. Sydney, Australia: Hummingsong Music Publications Pty Ltd.
  • Humberstone, J. (2013). Three for Two Flutes: 1. mannasaettir i 2. mannasaettir ii 3. mannasaettir iii. Sydney, Australia: Reed Music Pty Ltd.

2010

  • Johnston, A., Humberstone, J. (2010). Elective Music Students Experiences with Jam2Jam. The 7th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment, Wellington, New Zealand: Interactive Entertainment.
  • Humberstone, J. (2010). Not just an experience: The children's opera "kiravanu' as a medium for learning. Music in Action, 7(5), 15-17.

2009

  • Humberstone, J. (2009). The Creative Teacher: How to use technology to produce learning materials. Music in Action, 7(1), 8-11.

2008

  • Humberstone, J. (2008). Following the least-trodden paths. Resonate, (2).
  • Humberstone, J., Ricketson, D. (2008). Stepping stones: teacher resource kit. Sydney, Australia: Australian Music Centre.

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