Free activities and guides for teaching musical skills

Daniel Whibley, co-founder, composer, and arranger at Carrot Productions, the North West’s leading performer of music to film, has been making waves in entertainment and education in recent years. He created the music played by the BBC Philharmonic for the hit educational CBeebies show Musical Storyland.

Shot entirely in the North West and showcasing fairy tales and traditional folk tales from around the world, the series features musicians from the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and other instruments not traditionally found in orchestras. 

The 10-part series is available to watch in full on BBC iPlayer, and has free downloadable activities and listening guides on BBC Teach to accompany for teachers exploring musical skills and curriculum connections that are currently being used in classrooms across the UK.

Continuing his work in education, Daniel is now creating a new project for Carrot, Fantastic Fairy Tales, launching in June 2024, with the hope that this will then be offered to special schools across the UK alongside the company’s other two education programmes created in 2022 and 2023.

Musical Storyland is the first time an orchestra has been commissioned to make content for network television, and Daniel was approached to compose the music following the immense success of The Musical Story of the Gingerbread Man which he created for the BBC Philharmonic in 2022; the hugely popular film gained a cult following and has since generated millions of views on CBeebies iPlayer.

Daniel joined the project at the beginning of the pitch and development stage, and showed his talent and versatility by identifying the stories and musical instruments, as well as casting and working closely with tabla player Kuljit Bhamra MBE, Manchester-based West African multi-instrumentalist Sidiki Dembélé, and Liverpool based guzheng player Zi Lan Liao, to show the importance of the universal language of music within storytelling.

Carrot Productions, the production company Daniel and his wife Rachel Whibley founded in 2014, specialises in creating exciting and engaging family concerts, and is the world’s leading performer of The Snowman, Wallace & Gromit, and Shaun the Sheep film performances with orchestra. 

Daniel creates works to be played alongside The Snowman film, often writing the narration as well as the score.

His music is heard live by over 50,000 people each year as part of Carrot Productions’ Snowman Tour and its other productions. He is regularly commissioned by the BBC, including music for family concerts, documentaries, BBC Proms and CBeebies and often features on BBC Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, 5Live and 6Music.

Daniel was commissioned by Aardman to produce scores and parts for all four Wallace & Gromit films, as well as to create additional material for Wallace & Gromit in Concert, and to accompany a brand-new Shaun the Sheep compilation film.

Daniel Whibley said: “It’s vital to introduce kids to different cultures as part of their education, and through music is the perfect way to do it; I am so happy that the Musical Storyland teaching resources are now being used in classrooms around the country.

“The Musical Storyland creative process was really interesting because I was brought in at the very beginning to devise the whole thing; we wanted to make music the focal point of telling the story rather than something happening in the background, which is a massive point of difference when compared to other shows. 

“I also loved the process of writing for different instruments from around the world.

“Music in education is extremely important to us at Carrot Productions, and we have placed an emphasis on creating productions for this sector over the last few years; our latest educational show Fantastic Fairy Tales is something that we want to roll out to special schools across the country and beyond.”

Following its busiest twelve months to date, Carrot Productions has announced huge plans for 2024 in what promises to be a year of expansion for the company taking in the launch of charity arm The Carrot Trust, a massive commission by Penguin, and the development of its ‘shows for hire’ offering.

To learn more about Daniel Whibley’s work

For more details around Carrot Productions

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