Friday, February 25, 2011

Free resources for teachers

Thank you to ICT Magic who has been pointing me to lots of free music resources online.
I particularly like this Theta Music Trainer site.

I also love this resource Aviary's Music Creator. Don't be intimidated - it looks a lot more complicated than it actually is to use. I think that my year 4s are going to love composing with this.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Music at Poplar on PhotoPeach

With grateful thanks to Pooky at Creative Education for suggesting photopeach. It is a free tool and is remarkably quick to upload pics to.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Teaching the recorder

Year 4 have responded really well to recorder lessons. We are able to play B, A & G making a good clear sound. We have minimised squeaks by covering the holes really well and controlling our breath. Incidentally - the classroom isn't usually set up with desks in rows facing front but after experimenting I find this the best layout for teaching 30 children

I want to record the class playing some pieces for 3 reasons

1. To create performance conditions
2. To give the children a chance to listen and evaluate their playing
3. To keep a record so the children can hear the progress

However is it dangerous to capture an example that may be poor quality? My instinct says not because it is the process that is important. My professional vanity though says maybe it is not ideal to have examples of less than perfect work on display?

Anyway, while I was wrestling with this particular dilemma I uploaded several audioboos without realising it sent out a message on twitter. So we are in the the public domain and the sky hasn't fallen in on us. Listen!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Henley music review

Found an interesting site today, Teaching Music which suggests that the Henley music review may be an opportunity to kill off some musical sacred cows such as "group composing". You can read the editorial here

Here is The Independent's take on the review


Saturday, February 12, 2011

I am currently working with pupils from years 3, 4, 5 & 6 to help us develop a strong singing culture at Poplar. I am training the children as “Singing Sherlocks” . This means that they will be able to spread a number of singing games in the playground. They will also be available to visit EY and key stage 1 classes to both perform and teach classes the songs.

We are at an early stage still but I am hoping that by Easter they will have built up a strong repertoire of songs and will be able to lead singing games independently & confidently in the playground.

To begin with I am joining them in the playground every Tuesday lunchtime at 1.00 at the singing stop to help them get established.

The idea for this came from the very inspirational Soo Bishop and I have used the Voices Foundation "65 Songs" as my starting point.