Shropshire on the Welsh border.
Shropshire on the Welsh border.
Penny writes songs for children and adults and currently runs a small domestic choir.
Creative musician from Shropshire, Penny Burns is a composer, songwriter and therapeutic sound practitioner. She produces her own compositions, provides useful support resources for teachers and music-group leaders, and has led musical activities for recreation, education and health promotion for over forty years now.
Born in the 50s, Penny was the fourth child in a music-loving family in Worcestershire and soon became familiar with a wide variety of music: from ‘Gilbert and Sullivan’ to ‘Chopin’ to ‘The Shadows’. Fascinated with the way that music could affect our senses, Penny took up piano lessons at the age of four and enjoyed making up songs with her older sister. After moving to Herefordshire in the 60s, her first orchestral composition was publicly performed at the age of fourteen.
At sixteen, Penny formed her first folk band and sang solo with guitar in local folk clubs. Throughout her twenties, she performed extensively in folk clubs and festivals, and her songs ‘Blow Winds Blow’ and ‘Down by the Harbour’ were regularly played on local radio.
Through folk music, Penny discovered the art of social musicianship and valued it highly. So when she moved to Shropshire, in 1986, she decided to explore this side of music-making further. First, she founded an all-inclusive group called ‘Elastic Band’, which was so flexible and accommodating, that sadly, it finally snapped and collapsed! But by 2004, she was co-directing the highly successful ‘Spotlight’ community-music project in Bishop’s Castle, which delivered regular open-mic sessions for shy beginners and epic gigs for progressing artists, at ‘The Three Tuns’.
Sparked by an interest in the health benefits of collective music-making, Penny trained with the College of Sound Healing and qualified as a therapeutic sound practitioner in 2005. She was able to integrate social musicianship and sound therapy into her work and in 2008, went self-employed, leading workshops and sing-alongs in care homes and for organizations including ‘Autism West Midlands’, ‘Age UK’, and ‘The Alzheimer’s Society’. At this time, she was also commissioned to write poems, songs and instrumentals for local music groups. In 2011, Penny co-created her first soundtrack for film: ‘Shropshire Museum and Art Gallery’, a public information film. http://vimeo.com/29008874
Penny’s historical musical ‘Caradog and the Celts’ was published by Lazy Bee Scripts in 2014 and has so far been performed in the UK, US, Canada, Malawi, New Zealand and Australia, and her soundtrack ‘From an Empty House’ has been played on Radio 3 ‘Late Junction’. Many of Penny’s support resources are published by Sheet Music Plus and Spotify and she is currently writing a series of three books about sound and music and their importance for natural healing in the 21st century. Penny continues to promote music-making for health and happiness.
Lazy Bee Scripts: http://www.lazybeescripts.co.uk/Scripts/Results.aspx?iSc=2209
Sheet Music Plus: http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/search?q_ows=Open2sound&isASP=true