Just for starters

Mike Mower


Mike Mower (b.1958)

  1. Born in Bath, England
  2. Studied classical flute at the Royal Academy of Music, London in the 1970s. He also plays the saxophone and clarinet. Mike Mower works as a composer and arranger in a wide range of styles including for pop bands, jazz big bands, TV theme tunes and many collections of educational music. He has played and recorded with jazz, rock and classical artists including Tina Turner, Paul Weller, Björk and James Galway. He currently has 87 pieces on the current exam syllabuses of several exam boards.


The music of Mike Mower belongs very firmly to the contemporary world. His influences are jazz and pop. In 1985-97 he founded and led Itchy Fingers, a successful jazz saxophone quartet:

Many of the notes in Just for Starters are unexpected. You are never quite sure what will happen next. This piece is really a simple sequence of three 4-bar phrases. Each phrase will need to be learnt carefully to avoid learning wrong notes!


  • Think of this as a straight piece of classical music but with jazzy notes. 
  • Give the minims in the middle of each phrase their full value – and keep the final crotchet in each phrase quite short.
  • Follow the dynamics carefully – but you could add more by letting the music grow towards the middle of each phase and fall back towards the end of each phrase to give them more shape:
  • There is no articulation marked so you might like to add some of your own to give the music more character. Maybe something like this:
  • You could also add a little rallentando at the end to round it off:

Share This