An effective curriculum should be …

Post twenty-eight in our (re)learning to teach music series. This is the first post this week responding to the tasks in chapter five in Learning to Teach Music in the Secondary School. This is week six of the collaborative blogging. 

Task 5.1: Write two statements that outline your current thinking about what is important to a successful curriculum using the following sentence stems:

  • An effective music curriculum for teachers should be…
  • An effective music curriculum for young people should be…

Vaughan Fleischfresser @VFleischfresser

While reflecting on the two statements for today, I found myself gazing at a beautiful tree in my peripheral vision. I decided to latch onto the notion of a tree as an analogy for an effective music curriculum for both teachers and young people. And, in the spirit of curriculum design, I’m not 100% happy with where I’ve ended up, but I look forward to refining my current thoughts even further over the coming days.

An effective music curriculum for teachers should be focussed 100% on instilling a love and appreciation of music in each and every pupil. An effective music curriculum for teachers will not only be ready for change but should expect it. For me, an effective music curriculum is like a healthy tree. It should have a strong trunk of experiences and content, nourished by roots that are fed from as many different types of music as possible. Just like a healthy tree, and effective music curriculum will also have many leaf-filled branches ready for exploration. An effective music curriculum will be equipped and ready to follow and support its pupils down any of the branches they might choose to explore. Ultimately, an effective music curriculum for teachers should enable them to encourage each pupil to climb to the top of the tree taking whichever route is best for them. We need to ensure the curriculum is healthy, strong, and interesting enough to ensure each and every pupil reaches the top.

An effective music curriculum for young people should be interesting, engaging, active, challenging, and fun. An effective music curriculum for young people will not only be ready for change but should expect it. To be interesting, engaging, active, challenging, and fun, an effective music curriculum needs to acknowledge that young people find different things interesting and engaging, they respond to active learning in different ways, they find different things challenging, and fun for one won’t be fun for another. Just as for teachers, it needs to be like a healthy tree. Healthy, solid, easy enough to climb, and ready for many different routes of exploration. Just like the tree below, an effective music curriculum should allow young people to interact with the tree and learn from their experiences. They should be encouraged to climb to the top, however they should be able to take whatever route is best for them. They should be able to stop and explore branches that interest them. They should be able to step away from the tree and see it as a whole. Through learning about and engaging with the tree in many different ways, they should hopefully come to love and appreciate the tree. 

Mike Morgan @MikeMMusicED

An effective music curriculum for teachers should be sustainable and flexible. It should allow teachers to work to their strengths and have confidence in the material being taught.

An effective music curriculum for young people should be inspiring and worthwhile. I feel to get pupils involved then they need to see the value in music and what it means for them. What can being involved in music mean for them. It has given me so much, and I feel it is important to convey that inspiration to them. It should also open their minds and broaden their horizons.

David House @House_dg

An effective music curriculum for teachers should enable coverage of a range of musical styles, features and content in an interactive and efficient manner which ensures progression to be monitored over time.

An effective music curriculum for young people should enable them to encounter music of many styles and eras whilst moving them to increasingly deeper levels of musical understanding over time.. 

Ewan McIntosh @ETMcINTOSH

An effective music curriculum for teachers should allow the to teach music well and help them challenge students to develop their own musical skills and creative ideas. It should let teachers express their own personal likes and dislikes with regards to music and allow them to develop their own musicianship through teaching.

An effective music curriculum for young people should help develop their understanding of the unique language of music. It should also encourage creativity through an emphasis on practical work, allowing young people to develop their skills, allow time for expressing and justifying opinions, along with giving constructive feedback to one another. It should provoke thoughtful responses to the differences that exist between styles and over time, and look at how they are being combined today.

Steven Berryman @steven_berryman

An effective music curriculum for teachers should be rich and complex in starting points and flexibility to meet the needs and aspirations of young people; it should enable teachers to plan purposeful lessons that promote musical behaviours. 

An effective music curriculum for young people should be one that balances the known and unknown, includes the opportunity to develop and improve musical behaviours and one that promotes a range of responses from creative starting point. An effective curriculum for young people has music-making at its core, enhanced by knowledge about a range of musics. 

 

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