The popular image of a composer is of a starving social misfit, coughing up a little blood in an Austrian garret, dying young and leaving a plethora of works whose greatness remains unrecognised until he has long turned to dust in a pauper's grave. Composition is a rarefied activity for the talented, the unusual, for those apart. The thought, therefore, of being asked to conduct composition activities fills many teachers with fear because they imagine that they have to have particular skills, to have been trained in particular ways or to be in special communion with some invisible muse.