Student/NQT guide to… Music

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By Robin Warren a primary teacher and freelance writer.

Are you new to teaching? Confusing your castanets with your semi-quavers? Help is at hand!

Remembering my music seminars at university (I had just eight in four years in which to prepare me for teaching the KS1 and KS2 curriculum!), I was under the misapprehension that with my own class, I would spend every music lesson playing London’s Burning on the recorder and singing Land of the Silver Birch with a chime bar accompaniment. Ring any bells?I hope not! I was lucky. I am fairly musical. Gloria Estefan was right – the rhythm did get me and it equipped me with enough knowledge to teach a music lesson well. But not everyone feels like that – I still receive numerous bribes from colleagues to take their classes for music. For many it is clearly an area where subject confidence is flagging.

Getting started

  • Befriend your music co-ordinator, unless that is you – in which case, panic slightly! If you are the music co-ordinator, then contact your local authority music representative. They are usually lovely – very laid back and easily coerced with cakes.
  • Book yourself on a ‘Learn to play the recorder’ course. It’s a great way to get started with music. However, if the thought of ritual humiliation on an organised course doesn’t appeal, there is always the solo approach – a teaching video and soundproof bunker.
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