Tag: Music education

  • Opera in education

    I felt hugely lucky to be part of the development of Royal Opera House’s Create and Sing. I was a few years into my own singing lessons and but virtue of these lessons being with the tenor Ian Caley operatic arias were part of my vocal diet. A great deal of the developmental process, that […]

  • Imagining a plan for cultural education

    With the announcement following the publication of the White paper in England that work would begin on a National Plan for Cultural Education many will have applauded the announcement, and many will see this as part of a long history of policy and approaches that sought to champion cultural education. Music education has received considerable […]

  • Opera “too difficult”?

    I read Susan Elkin’s piece for The Independent, ‘Why are educationists so afraid of cultural excellence?’ with much nodding of my head. I am particularly passionate about promoting living artists in my teaching – right from Year 4 upwards – and also ensuring pupils are engaging with as much music as they can, from a […]

  • Developing listening

    I love working with other music teachers on INSET courses, and I had a particularly enjoyable day leading a course for a group of passionate teachers on Monday. Much of my course looks at approaches to starting compositions and the afternoon focused on perception skills. I had such a thought-provoking time in Berlin while on […]

  • National Curriculum Draft

    It’s always exciting to read yet another education document, and the publication of the draft National Curriculum is rather hefty at over two hundred pages. Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and […]

  • Let them make noise

    Jonathan Savage encourages us to ‘find time, in what are our undoubtedly busy lives, to read and reflect on the broad literature of music education’. His new book The Guided Reader to Teaching and Learning Music (Routledge 2013) is a collection of what he considers key writers that have inspired his pedagogy, and he rightly […]

  • Challenging conceptions

    On to the first chapter of Burnard’s book (2012). ‘For most of us, ‘musicla creativity’ refers to a particular type of practice, perhaps that of the Great Composers’, rather than to multiple possibilities’ (7) strikes me as odd as I have never considered that to be the case, and wonder where such a claim comes […]

  • Why shy away from dots and lines?

    I, like probably every other classroom music educator, find myself regularly contemplating the importance of Western musical notation. Why bother teaching it? Is it of any use? Yes, I think it is. And yes, I should bother to teach it. Seeing posts about how pupils ‘forget’ the teaching they have received on notation and it […]

  • Guest post – Jonathan Savage’s Blog

    Jonathan Savage kindly invited me to respond to a question about the future of a classroom based music education. My response was originally published on Jonathan’s blog (2nd December 2011). What is the future of school-based music education in the United Kingdom? It seems difficult to suggest what the future of school-based music might be. Extra-curricular […]

  • Musical Pathways

    The Henley report on music education in the United Kingdom emphasised the value and importance of music making as a practical skill and how much this can enrich and aid the development of young people’s lives. This comprehensive survey lacked a detailed account of class music lessons and accentuated the role of extra-curricular music making. […]