I have been inspired by Dr Martin Fautley’s A to Z to compile my very own.
A is for advocacy. Can we stop it please? It doesn’t work.
B is for blogs. A school music blog is a brilliant performance opportunity for kids. Allows music teachers to differentiate, introduces children to new music, chance to get feedback on kids compositions and performances. I am so grateful to wonderful music educators Ally Daubney David Ashworth & John Finney for regularly leaving comments for my young musicians.
C is for Charanga. Easy to be sniffy about it but is getting lots of non specialist primary teachers to teach music. Also for culture. Everybody has one – it just might be different to the schools. Also for Carnival of the Animals.
D is for djembe. I wish I had a set of 30. Never taught a class that didn’t beg to play djembe. Also for Dalacroze. Bouncing balls, throwing beanbags, waving scarves are brilliant at helping kids get below the skin of a piece of music.
E is for ear. Learning by it.
F is for film music. Such a shame it is often ignored in primary school. In my experience children are incredibly skilled at reading film music. We can use those conventions to help children explore features of the music.
G is for GarageBand. Smart instruments are great for allowing kids to create their own backing tracks.
H is for hubs. Under funded, have little leverage with schools but by and large doing their damnedest to support music teachers.
I is for iPad. Every class should have one. (See GarageBand) it’s a video, audio recorder, a musical instrument & a visual metronome
J is for joy. Not 24/7 but if you don’t have at least one moment of sheer joy teaching music a day something is wrong.
K is for Kodaly. Genius way to teach music to children.
L is for listening. To each other, to the performers, to the teacher, to the music. Can’t have music without listeners.
M is for Musical Futures. I’m not sure exactly how they will work in primary but I have leant so much from them. Their training is superb & their staff are wonderful.
N is for notation. A small part of music education that we turn into a fetish. Sound before symbol.
O is for Organisations. No more. We have enough thank you.
P is for performance, Peter & the Wolf & getting physical.
Q is for quirky. Most music teachers have their own.
R is for recorders. They still have a place in the music room.
S is for Sing up. I think that Sing Up has been the most successful government initiative I’ve actually seen in 25 years of teaching. It has got schools singing. Shame it is no longer free.
T is for Twitter. Without Twitter my music education would be sorely lacking. I am so grateful to the following tweeters : Alison Daubney, David Ashworth, Gary Spruce, Johnathon Savage, Jane Werry, Shelley Ambury, Anna Gower, John Finney, John Merriman, Martin Fautley & Phillip Flood. They have undoubtedly helped me raise my game and introduced me to authors and research I’d have otherwise missed.
U is for ukuele. You do know David Ashworth is kidding right?!
V is for Voices Foundation – brilliant introduction to Kodaly. I can highly recommend their 5 day training course.
W is for wider opps. 30 kids, 30 instruments 1 tutor 1 teacher. So much hinges on the tutor. It can be brilliant but there needs to be a better way to evaluate.
X is for xylophone – Dr Fautley is right – we don’t have nearly enough
Y is for YouTube. Genius idea. Rich source of music
Z is for zero hours contract. How on earth are we supposed to ensure good quality instrumental lessons when tutors are so badly paid ?