TOTAL CLARITY IN YOUR PRIMARY MUSIC TEACHING
I really enjoyed the process of creating Active Music, although I had thought that I would be able to create it in far less time than I actually did. But as much as I love the practical aspect of actually singing and playing games with the children I also love the feeling of clarity – absolute certainty that I know what I’m doing and I know what I’m covering. I found I lost any sense of insecurity about doing the right thing when I had total clarity on what I was teaching, how I was teaching it and which specific element/s of the Music National Curriculum I was covering.
When I had clarity, I could enjoy the lessons so much more. Throughout my teaching degree we focused very much on creating a very clear objective first before going on to work out how we would achieve it – then how we would differentiate it – and then how we could see that it had been achieved. This is standard isn’t it really, for any teaching. However, with music, when coming across a brilliant singing game or activity and playing them with the children in my various classes, I realised I wanted to know a lot more of which specific elements of music we were covering by these activities. How were the children progressing by playing this game? What were they actually learning?
When I started learning the Kodaly approach, I loved the fact that it taught musical skills in small sequential steps and that you could easily see what the children were learning. It gave a clear sense of direction. I wrote my dissertation on the relevance of the Kodaly approach in British Primary Schools and later I went on to study for a Certificate of Professional Practice in Early Childhood Music with the British Kodaly Academy. For this, I analysed over 70 songs and games where I could really see what specific musical skills could be learnt from each song. This satisfied my need for clarity and fired me up to learn more.
So, after embarking on learning hundreds of singing games and activities and analysing them for the musical content I was in a place to put the whole thing together – so while the children were totally immersed in the experience of the music, I could rest in the total certainty that I knew what I was teaching and why.
My need for clarity stayed with me through the whole ten years of writing Active Music. It was an ever-evolving process, where I learnt new songs, analysed them, saw how they fitted in, tried and tested them and then worked out how everything could fit in together.
For my own sake, I made sure that every lesson had a very clear objective of what the children would be learning and which elements of the Music National Curriculum they would be covering.
Active Music has been very much about the process of creating – trial and error, learning, analysing and arriving at a place of total certainty about what I am doing.
It is this clarity that I pass on to you in the form of 168 lesson plans fully equipped with objectives and National Curriculum links as well as the 600+ videos for further certainty. You are not left in any state of vagueness, trying to work out what I mean – you can see the children playing the games and have your own ‘aha’ moment of clarity.
Now the clarity and certainty have been established, the fun of the happy teaching moments, the energy, the excitement and the practical learning can be the focus! Enjoy Active Music!
If you would like to explore how this works for you, take Active Music for a test drive.