It was great to meet a group of music teachers who attended my new course for Keynote, ‘Creativity and Imagination in GCSE Composition’. I was thrilled to be invited to write such a course; initially it felt rather daunting but it soon became apparent that I could draw on many previous experiences. Many teachers feel the pressure of exam success and careful study of examiner’s reports helped to guide my planning but a bigger influence for me were the experiences I had attending GSMD Connect short courses. These courses were practically based and looked at collective composition, an approach that guided all the activities I worked through with the teachers on my course.
It was wonderful to see that teachers were willing to take risks, and make music! They could see that by doing the process they learned how they could teach and adapt it. Teach Through Music is an initiative that equally preferences music-making by teachers as a means to improving the musical experiences for the pupils those teachers teach.
It will always seem a complex matter in how to help many music teachers who are less confident composers with strategies to guide their students through composition coursework. For me, it will always need a willingness from teachers to engage with the process themselves.