This blog is going to be a record of my own professional development as a primary music teacher. I already write a couple of school music blogs for the children I teach ( See St Teresa’s Music Matters)This blog however is my own personal one so it should go without saying that the opinions expressed here are mine alone and do not reflect the views of any of my employers.
I teach at a primary school in the London Borough of Merton. I work two days a week for Merton Music Foundation. I became a general class teacher in 1990. In 2005 I became heavily involved in running a parent campaign to improve school dinners. Happily we won and one of the consequences was that I was appointed to the board of the now defunct “School Food Trust” and I got some part time work campaigning for the Children’s Food Campaign. I knew that I still wanted to teach so asked my head to find me a job for 1 day a week. It was either teaching music or RE so I picked music.
I didn’t get off to the best start and made lots of mistakes but luckily I was able to go to Soo Bishop and Caroline Segollo – two utterly brilliant music teachers who worked for Merton Music Foundation. With their help I began to unpick the curriculum and plan activities that would teach the children some core concepts. I went on a great Voices Foundation 5 day course which gave me lots more confidence and I studied “Sing Up” til I drove my family mad.
Of all the books I read two absolutely stand out as massive influences:
“Your Brain on Music” by Daniel Levitin
“Bounce’ by Matthew Syed
I stalked music educators on twitter, found thousands of pinterest boards and began a search to find music teachers. Happily I discovered the website Teaching Music UK and through that the marvellous David Ashworth, who apart from his aversion to ukuleles is a remarkable music teacher and writer. I also discovered Musical Futures which has challenged me further and introduced me to some fantastic music education ideas. I am also grateful to the ISM who are doing a brilliant job looking at music assessment.Through twitter I have since met some wonderful music teachers and writers.
To name a few
Expect some ranting.
I am on twitter as @jackieschneider. I follow all music teachers who tweet at me