On Wednesday 5th April 2017 I organised for Stephanie Dufty, from the music hub to conduct some Charanga training for the staff. Charanga is a fantastic music programme we have bought which helps children learn how to play instruments and encourages them to use more musical language. It also helps staff gain confidence teaching music.
The training went great, all the staff were very enthused and Stephanie was fabulous, the feedback from the staff was all very positive, one member of staff quoted saying “it was very informative and explained everything step by step.”
I believe this training helped the staff feel more at ease using the programme to teach music after half term.
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I recently went to my second Music Educators Group meeting, as part of my role as Music coordinator.
We first spoke about the ‘All wrapped up for Christmas’ event, which looked spectacular, and there was discussion that this would definitely be happening again next year. This is an event that I would look to put the choir up for in the future.
They also mentioned that from this event parents have asked for a junior choir to become available at Forest Arts. This is now available and there are flyers available from the office.
We then spoke about the Transition/Leadership day event ‘Black History Month meets Rock School’, which is an event run by Secondary school and A level students at Forest Arts. This event will take place in October 2017 and the primary school students who take part must have some musical instrument knowledge, at grade 2 or above. Unfortunately for us, we won’t have any students with this ability, however there are 2 events that our school would be able to take part in and they are for beginners. This event will be offered to Year’s 5 and 6 students across Walsall.
We then spoke about the singing festival, which is taking place in March. The children are invited to sing two songs and then will take part in vocal workshops. I will hopefully be taking the choir to this event, as it’s a great opportunity to perform and boost their confidence and profile for our school for having a choir. This in turn will open up possibilities of networking with other schools for performances and shows.
We then were given a CPD on Signing in the Music Classroom. This was a practical session whereby a lady, called Bev Cullen taught us various Makaton signs that will be needed when teaching signing and music. She offers training sessions for all years and has her own resource books to help sign with various songs. I spoke to Bev about possibly doing a whole school session, in which she replied that she normally does phases but is willing to do bespoke sessions for schools.
This is something I would like to look into and get our teachers trained in this area. As whilst music is being taught via an outside agency this is may not always be the case and I would like all staff to feel confident delivering stand alone music lessons in the future.
On 17th November, I conducted Sonic Pi training for a KS1 and KS2 staff. It was explained how Sonic Pi incorporates both Music and ICT as part of a cross curricular lesson. The staff also got the chance to play on the programme themselves, so they knew how it looked and worked. The staff seemed to enjoy playing ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’ and I had great fun too. I also asked staff to complete an evaluation form. I asked for feedback in the form of Debono’s thinking hats – Yellow hat (positive) and Black hat (Improvement). I asked for their thoughts about the training I gave and any improvements they could think of for myself, so I could improve this for the next time I deliver any training. The results were great and all staff enjoyed the task, but would have liked more time to play on the programme. This is something that I will keep in mind for the future.
I recently went to a Music Educators Group meeting, as part of my first introduction to my new role as Music coordinator.
It was very interesting and insightful to meet Music leaders from others schools and draw on their years of experience in the role at their school. I also got to meet the leaders of Muse and the Forests Arts department. I got a full understanding of what Forest Arts provides to our school and to all the schools around Walsall.
During the meeting I got to see a version of a Music policy and assessment, which I will draw upon when making our schools.
A very interesting piece of information was the pupil voice, whereby, we ask the children for feedback on the music lessons and gan knowledge on what they would like to see more of in school regarding music. It’s away of catering our lessons to what the children want, as well as their needs.
One of the programmes that we were shown was called Sonic Pi. This is a coding programme, which incorporates parts of Maths, ICT Coding, as well as Music.
The children will have the chance to follow codes, which when played altogether becomes music. As part of the new National Curriculum within ICT, the children need to understand coding by gaining knowledge on; how it works, how to debug and how to create something from a code. The programme does all of these – It is great fun!
The aim is for KS2 staff to become familiar with this and to teach the children how to use it. In the near future I will lead a Sonic Pi twilight training for all staff.
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