Sarah Baker

I have over twenty years of experience in music education and over thirty five years’ experience as a musician. I specialise in conducting and leading choirs with particular expertise in Key Stages 1 and 2 and have worked in many schools in Birmingham in a broad variety of social and cultural contexts.

I have taught private piano pupils for over thirty years, with pupils from six years to mature adults, from beginners to diploma level. This includes teaching theory and aural at all levels.

I have composed songs for over thirty years and have been an arranger since 2006. My compositions include several musicals for primary age and song commissions for mass primary choral events. I have worked extensively on compositions and arrangements for pre-school music and movement classes.

I am passionate about music and arts education and believe that the performing arts uniquely support children’s educational success and achievement.

Work

  • Vocal Composer in Residence, Services for Education Music Services
  • Peripatetic and classroom music teacher
  • Conductor, primary and secondary school choirs
  • Tutor, Birmingham Schools Singers
  • Piano teacher
  • Composer, producer and arranger

Training

Instrument specialisms: piano; cello; voice; treble recorder

Publications and Commissions

Forthcoming

  • A new musical for foundation and key stage 1
    • 2017

2016

2015

2014

  • Metamorphosis and Easter’s Coming!
    • in the compilation book Songs For All Seasons published by Starshine Music
  • Prince of Peace and Give A Little Love
    • in the compilation book Here Comes Christmas Published by Starshine Music
  • Magical Christmas Journey
    • A Christmas Nativity Musical published by Starshine Music.
  • Together and I Will Sing A Song
    • Commissioned by the West Midlands Singing Consortium for use in February 2014 for Music Mark Midlands Singing day

2010 -2015

  • Children’s traditional songs and rhymes available on-line and commissioned and published by Musicshakers.com
    • Winter Chimes and Animal Rhymes
    • Songbirds and Rhyming Words
    • Rain or Sun Singing Fun
    • Summer Days And Insect Ways
    • Songs Of Transportation and Exploration
    • Autumn Beat and Dancing Feet
    • Seaside Songs To Sing Along

2013

  • Tuning The Tables – Musical Multiplications
    • by Bakertunes
    • Published through Emubands.
    • An album of times table songs, available on iTunes and Amazon.

Biography

Bakertunes is a growing collection of music composed by Sarah Baker.

Music has been in my family for many generations.

My great-grandmother was a pianist for black and white movies and my grandparents, aunts and uncles, parents, cousins, brothers and sister all sing or play an instrument.

I started composing when I was about eight, having had piano lessons for a couple of years. I still remember my first piece now, based on a broken chord pattern and repetitive melody. Many hours of my childhood was spent playing duets with a friend, and then as a young teenager I started to write songs that I often sang in our local church services.

My first experience of recording for film came when I was sixteen. My Dad had made an animated video that was published by the Bible Society and I did all the background music and songs on a keyboard in one of our bedrooms at home. I loved the creativity and was totally absorbed in it all.

From 1991-1994 I did a Bmus degree at Birmingham University and had piano lessons with Alison Pottinger at the Birmingham Conservatoire. During these three years I specialised in performance, electronic composition and orchestration, going on to do a Masters in Performance Studies at the Conservatoire from 1995-1997. I already had work with the Birmingham Music Services as a pianist in a school and my vocal teaching in the primary classroom developed from there.

I have now worked in music education for over twenty years and have gradually developed my skills as a songwriter and arranger. The Music Shakers CD project was a great opportunity to try new styles and technologies, and I am really pleased to have worked with Starshine Music and Edgy Productions more recently.

I became Vocal Composer in Residence for Services for Education Music Services in 2012. Since then I have received commissions and regularly write songs for the Primary Gala Choir which sings in the end of year concerts at Symphony Hall. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear over five hundred children singing together in one of the UK’s best concert venues.

And I seem to have come full circle recently in returning to the piano and writing new material for my pupils. The improvising never stopped but I have recently discovered real enjoyment in formalising the ideas and setting them in a score which can then be passed on to others. My pieces are intended to be played by pupils who want pieces of music that are easily accessible and in a contemporary style. I hope the videos give an idea of the way the music should be performed and my notes on the inspiration behind the music are informative and enjoyable to read.

It is a privilege to be a musician and to be able to share my music with others in so many different ways. I hope you enjoy exploring the site and listening to my music.