Music in the Key of Shortis

A unique take on the world of music

 After a very well-attended series of courses in Canberra, John Shortis now brings his personal quirky take on the topic to the Southern Highlands, exploring its patterns and mysteries- chords, keys, time signatures, modes, harmony, melody, and music notation, explained like never before.

John Shortis is a musician, a songwriter, an arranger, who has made a living from music for over 40 years. He’s written countless songs for kids and adults, orchestrated for full symphony orchestra, written the music for an opera, had 3 composer-in-residences, and much more.

His formal music education is short- a year of piano with the nuns, a year or two of euphonium and trombone in the school brass band- yet his musical knowledge is wide, his passion for music theory palpable, and he is puzzled by the fact that, to many, this gripping area of music is seen as something dull and boring. To him it’s endlessly engrossing, a source of permanent fascination and discovery, a page-turner.

They never knew it, but The Beatles were his surrogate music teachers. Back in the ‘60s, as new songs of theirs came out he would play them by ear, and was intrigued by their chords, their melodies and harmonies, their key changes, time signature shifts, use of modes, and all in a vast range of styles.

His unorthodox learning methods have led him to develop his idiosyncratic slant on the world of music, which will form the basis of a 4 week course, called Music in the Key of Shortis. Full of stories, humour, context, chord wheels and patterns, watch as the mysteries of music unfold from Shortis’s quirky viewpoint.

And what better way to learn about music theory than from a man who’s never had a theory lesson in his life! THIS WILL NOT BE DULL!

‘…..Thank you very much.  I found your explanation memorable, what a privilege to be taught by someone who lives and breathes music and communicates like a poet….Thank you so much John – this is fabulous. As a young kid who found theory overwhelming and just didn’t get it, and gave up, I might just have passed those exams if I’d had your explanations! What I do remember is now falling into place…’

Saturdays May 23/30, June 13/27, 2-4pm                                   

$80/$70 concession                                                                        

Robertson Community Technology Centre                                            58-60 Hoddle Street Robertson (opposite Robertson Farm Machinery)                                                                                           

Bookings essential 6238 1827, or