Search Results for: cuckoo

Music for Children

from parltDavid has written extensively for children, including the music and lyrics for songs for BBC Radio and Television.  His SEALSONGS collection is widely used in primary schools, and GUESS HOW I FEEL has been a favourite children’s song for over 25 years.  He has also written for school choirs and orchestras and been commissioned by the ABRSM for some pieces in the Music Medals series.

David has also created a method for teaching composing in Primary Schools (at Key Stage 2). For more information on his educational work, please click  EDUCATION.

Music for Children continues to be an important part of David Stoll’s output, such as his recent children’s opera, THE DRUMMER BOY OF WATERLOO, co-written with Megg Nicol, and first produced by Jubilee Opera in November 2015.

Recent work includes DICK OTTINGTON, a new pantomime for primary schools, and the CUCKOO ROCK SONGBOOK.  David is currently working on a new project for children with Ron Roker.

Schools & FE

David Stoll offers a range of support services in music and creativity for schools and Local Authorities, including classroom composing lessons, creative music projects, songwriting projects, consultancy and INSET provision.


Teaching Ljubljana

David Stoll giving a demonstration lesson in Ljublana, Nov 2011. Photo Društvo slovenskih skladateljev

As a qualified teacher with Theatre-in-Education background, David sat on the original seminar group which gave rise to the Music Manifesto. He was then commissioned by the Government to write BUILDING MUSIC, a guide for primary schools working with visiting composers.  David occasionally runs workshops and composing projects in schools, and INSET training for Local Authorities around the country. The workshops are fully in line with the National Curriculum, but are also valued by headteachers for the guidance in listening and attention that they offer. Key Stage 2 workshops are a speciality.  David’s projects include a commission from Creative Partnerships to design and develop SONGLETS, a project for primary schools.  Most of David’s KS2 work is carried out under the banner of Creative Confidence.screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-12-29-59pm


David’s second book, KEY STAGE 2 COMPOSING, is a systematic guide to teaching composing in primary schools with teachers’ notes and sample projects.  This book, which forms a complete music course for a year, is available as a download, or as a printed book from Amazon.


Recent works include DICK OTTINGTON and CUCKOO ROCK.  DICK OTTINGTON (written with Michael Hinton) is an introduction to the whole topic of pantomimes and how to stage them, and it also includes a complete new show with everything explained to put on a production.  The CUCKOO ROCK SONGBOOK is a collection of settings of poems by Phil Bowen, with piano accompaniment and backing tracks, and also a linking Narrator’s script for performance.


David Stoll writes occasional articles on teaching composing, such as this one for Music Teacher Magazine


David wrote the KS3 Songwriting materials for the teachers’ resource pack available on the Musical Futures website.  He runs occasional Master Classes in composition at 6th Form level.


David delivers undergraduate and post-graduate master classes in composing and songwriting at Universities and Colleges of Further Education. He offers introductory lectures on the historical and philosophical background to Western music and song, and illustrated talks on how harmony works and how to use it.


David also writes music specially for school choirs, orchestras or other ensembles.

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Theatre & Media Music

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photo: Darren Haynes, BASCA

jubilee operaDavid writes and produces production music (orchestral, chamber and electronic) for several publishers including Music Sales (Bosworth), Studio G, Sound Stage/Amphonic, Noise Pump/Atlas Production Music and Standard Music.  Some recent tracks, together with new specially composed material, are now being remixed and made available as new collections of Music for Listeners for download or streaming; these include LAST BUS HOME, PHAETON and MUSIC FOR LOST FILMS.  David’s library music is regularly used in television and film all over the world.


Gulliver workshop

David’s work for the theatre includes productions of AS YOU LIKE IT and HENRY VIII (the Royal Shakespeare Company) IF I WERE LIFTED UP FROM EARTH (A&BC) and GULLIVER (the Masque Youth Theatre).   David co-wrote the music and songs for TELLER OF TALES, the musical about TotRobert Louis Stevenson which played in Edinburgh, Scotland and Monterey, California.  His opera FALSE RELATIONS was commissioned for the UK Year of Opera and Musical Theatre. Recent children’s musicals include CUCKOO ROCK, which is now presented as a Songbook with a story text for simple primary school performance.  DICK OTTINGTON,  a primary school pantomime,  is co-written with Michael Hinton and available for schools; the book includes comprehensive general notes on putting on performances in a primary school. David’s latest large scale work for children is the opera THE DRUMMER BOY OF WATERLOO, co-written with Megg Nicol.  For news about a new project by Megg and David, please click here.

For his theatre work, David is represented by Jean Diamond of Diamond Management.  He recently completed a new show inspired by the great standard songs of the mid-20th Century.

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David Stoll is a composer of music for the concert hall, the theatre, television and radio.  He writes words and lyrics for stage musicals, and also children songs and other works for schools.  David gives lectures and master-classes, and occasionally designs projects in creativity for schools, higher education and the corporate sector.

David StollDavid was educated at Oxford University, where he held the Hadow open scholarship in composition at Worcester College, and at the Royal Academy of Music, London.  He started professional life as a music director in Theatre-in-Education before embarking on a freelance career as a composer, songwriter and musician.  Though he has played in bands and led ensembles – and also enjoyed playing cocktail bar piano – he now concentrates on writing and production.


David’s concert music, including his four String Quartets*,  is published by Novello & Co. Novello also publishes other Stoll music, including  THE DRUMMER BOY OF WATERLOO*, a children’s opera written with Megg Nicol, which was very successfully premiered by photo editJubilee Opera in Aldeburgh in November 2015.  David has written another show with Megg, LITTLE FIR TREE.  This new family musical was at the heart of an exciting new environmental Project which took place in London schools in the autumn and winter of 2018.  And the show itself was premiered in a concert version in December 2018 with Sylvester McCoy as the Narrator – please click here for more details: the Times reviewer wrote that he was “enchanted” by the show.  One of the songs has been beautifully recorded by Emma StevensTHE FOREST OF DREAMS;  Pete Woodroffe co-produced the track with David.

David is working on an extensive collection of production music tracks which Music Sales has commissioned from him; these are scored for a variety of ensembles, for example combining chamber, jazz and electronic instruments.  One large collection was written for brass ensembles*.  Every now and then, some of this music is chosen for remastering for commercial release (the Music for Listeners* series).  The first two available collections are titled LAST BUS HOME and PHAETON. The third, MUSIC FOR LOST FILMS – which features some of David’s brass music – was released in April 2016.  You may hear some general excerpts from David’s media music here*.

Another of David’s major projects is a series of electronic collections for download and streaming, produced with John Mercer for Riverrun Records under the artist name CHRONOMETER*.  Six albums are currently available.

David’s download resources for primary schools include DICK OTTINGTON*,  a pantomime, co-written with Michael Hinton, and the CUCKOO ROCK* songbook (to poems by Phil Bowen). David has also written a new adult show with Phil set in a very different sound world: that of the piano bar and the great standard songs of the mid-20th Century.

Several examples of David Stoll’s music are available to stream from this site.  There are links on most pages which feature different types of David’s music with examples; these are marked *.  The SHOP page is available for download purchases of music and educational materials.


A founding co-Chairman of the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters (now BASCA), David has sat on several committees representing composers in the UK and in Europe, including being a Director of British Music Rights and a Trustee of the British Music Information Centre.  He designed and directed two UK Government funded projects: IN TUNE IN EUROPE (co-funded by the EU) and BUILDING MUSIC (an early Music Manifesto project), and he chaired the group designing the Composers in Education Database project for the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance, ECSA.  David resigned from all committee work in February 2014 to concentrate fully again on writing; you may see a tribute from BASCA here.


screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-3-58-32pmAlthough also cutting down on his education work in schools (which was carried out under the banner Creative Confidence), David is still lecturing and giving occasional master classes, corporate workshops and INSETs.  Having been both a visiting lecturer and university external examiner, he is now an accreditation assessor for JAMES, visiting colleges and universities to monitor their courses. David still retains an interest in training primary school teachers to deliver Key Stage 2 lessons on how to compose music, even when it is not something that they ever thought they could do themselves.  KEY STAGE 2 COMPOSING is available as a download from the shop, and as a printed book from Amazon.

In 2002 the Royal Academy of Music honoured David with election to an Associateship for “distinction in (his) profession”.

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cartoon of David Stoll by Erika Eigen

There is more information on David’s work throughout this website. 

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