Sunday, 8 March 2015


Ages ago, I wrote that shorthand appeared to be a dying art with so many new forms of recording technology available to new journalists today which made me fear this great skill may become defunct.

I am very happy to report, therefore, that it has never been so important in the modern newsroom. It has become compulsory at the university where I teach and having 100 words a minute is seen as the deciding factor on a CV when editors consider taking on new trainees.

Some of my students love it and others find it a chore and the early start each morning doesn't help their enthusiasm. However, almost all of them love a bit of Musical Teeline and we often challenge ourselves with our favourite songs from that brilliant blog as a way of making daily practice less like hard work.

Below is my effort to Alison Moyet's Windmills Of Your Mind. I am sure if any of my students read this then they will find a couple of errors but if they really want to challenge themselves, they should have a go at the original and best version by Noel Harrison which is much faster than Moyet's and harder to get down, as I found out when I had a go.

So here is my Teeline Shorthand to the deep and fullsome sound of Moyet's unique voice. I sometimes find putting myself into the same situation as my students helps me to better understand how hard they are working towards first their 60wpm exam and finally, via 70wpm, 80wpm, and 90wpm, their 100wpm exam. Some of them have those exams next week and I wish them, as always, the very best of luck knowing that they are trying their best, working hard, and are determined to achieve their Teeline certificates as their first step onto the road to their dream careers in journalism.

Having just heard this favourite classic by Carly Simon on the radio, I decided to play musical Teeline for fun one last time today. It's a great song and perfect for practice at an easy level.