Philosophy & Overview
Jocelyn (Jo) Kotchie is one of Australia's foremost pedagogical composers, with a well-established reputation for crafting music which is loved by children and teens all over the world.
In writing for young people, her philosophy is simple: to create music which engages the imagination whilst also guiding the child or teen towards technical facility and challenge according to their capability.
Where music has the power to influence so many aspects of a developing child's life, Jo seeks to make that a joyous experience which is accessible to all children, not just those who are physically, intellectually or psychologically capable of managing the technical and interpretative requirements.
She does this by crafting music which stimulates - rhythmically, melodically, dynamically, but most of all imaginatively, by creating a picture that the child can bring to life.
Genres & Styles
Jo writes extensively in a wide variety of genres: while specialising in pedagogical music (piano, vocal and instrumental) Jo also writes songs across most genres, solo and ensemble instrumental music and both traditional and contemporary choral music.
The songs, featuring big power ballads, carry strong overtones of her classical background, forming a classical/pop crossover style. Other genres include jazz, blues, soul, folk, pop-rock, spiritual, gospel, musical theatre and classical. Types of songs also include satire, social commentary, story songs and duets.
Jo also writes songs and music suitable for Schools and piano music designed to engage specific interest groups such as young beginners, boys and girls with a need for speed, teens and adults.
As a resource for teachers, students and choirs, Jo writes various types of arrangements.
Arrangements of her own material and of public domain music such as traditional hymns, negro spirituals, tradtional folk songs and classical music.
Arrangements of any of the above material can be written for any size and type of vocal group - duos, small ensembles, all male or all female groups and large choirs.
In addition, arrangements can be as simple or as complicated as required to meet the capabilities of the choral group - from unison singing and simple two-part harmony through to as many parts as desired.
Most choral arrangements are a cappella with piano accompaniments available on request.
Arrangements of her own material and of public domain music such as popular piano classics and traditional songs for early to intermediate piano students.
These arrangements can be very handy with students who are bogged down with technical work and need a little light relief in the form of something they really want to play and can learn without too much difficulty.
Original music includes 'Rote Riot' - a collection of fun songs for the young beginner to be learned by rote. These pieces are designed to supplement the primer with which the student is working and to provide light relief in the form of a song or piece of music that the student can play at home from the very first lesson. These pieces have been hugely successful and teachers are guaranteed to find pieces that their students will love to play and sing.
Original music also includes two collections of canons: 'Conquering Canons' - a lighthearted approach to the torments of canons!! is a collection of 12 fun pieces designed to bridge the gap between the early level canons such as those of Kunz and Pozzoli and the more advanced contrapuntal work students will progress to in the inventions of Bach. They are an invaluable supplement for pianists at an intermediate level in enocuraging independence of the hands.
More recently Jo has written 'A Canonical Adventure' in response to a commission by the Australian Music Examinations Board in 2013 to write the canons for their Series 17 grade one books. These canons are shorter and easier but still great fun to play!
Original music also includes 'Dancing Dogs and Prancing Frogs' - a collection of dances for children. These songs, with lyrics tell imaginative stories while giving children the fun experience of playing lively dances such as tarantellas, jigs, polkas and reels.
Original music also includes 'Danger Zone' - 12 Atmospheric Pieces for early intermediate to late intermediate piano. These pieces are guaranteed to engage boys and girls through into their teens, driven by a need for speed, power and mystery!
Original music also includes 'The Camelot Trilogy' - 3 epic tone poems depicting the final days of Camelot. Powerful music for teens.
While on the subject of teens, Jo has also written 'In My Room' - a collection of 8 pieces designed to meet the emotional and spiritual needs of adolescence. These pieces are deeply evocative, creating a picture or a feeling for the teen to live fully into while providing a safe foundation from which to explore and express themselves more fully.
Original music also includes 'Who's At The Door? ... and other mysteries' - a collection of twenty-one fun songs in C and G positions for young beginners. For teachers who are able to work without a primer, this book takes the young child on a joyful musical journey, learning the rudiments while reinforcing notes and positions long enough for them to become secure and comfortable. C and G positions are explored over the complete range of the piano keyboard and the entire book can be revisited in transposition.
Original music also includes all of the collections listed to the right.
Fuller details are available on the Catalogue page.
Original music also includes general piano music for the early to intermediate student, written to order to meet the requirements of the student. This is useful when a student needs to learn a particular technique and can't be inspired by rudimentary exercises. It may also be useful in meeting a teenaged student's emotional needs (for example with deep, dark chords and rolling arpeggios) when suitable material at the student's level is difficult to source.
Resources for Schools
Arrangements of her own material and of public domain music such as traditional songs and popular classics for general ensemble. Written to order to meet the requirements of the ensemble.
Original music includes seasonal songs for young children through to more complex songs for teenagers complete with arrangements for rhythm and lead and bass guitar, violin, saxophone, clarinet, flute etc. Original music also includes percussion - either as part of a general ensemble or for a percussion band. Check out the sample of Rituals and the Catalogue page of 'Music for Classroom Teaching.'