Issue 62: Welcome to the Jungle

Half term. Phew. Eight weeks seems a very long time. I find that most music topics seem to fit neatly into 6 week,s and can be stretched to make 7 weeks, but 8?

Last week in my class music teaching, I found myself teaching a djembe lesson to year 3 and 4 with 10 minute’s notice, as their usual Wider Opportunities teacher was ill. That wasn’t a great problem, as I teach Wider Opportunities lessons at other schools. I’ll write up that lesson when I am in teacher mode again in a week or so.

The year 5 and 6 class needed the extra week to finish their pentatonic compositions. I felt a bit mean leaving the TA in charge of most of the class, all putting the final touches on their work, klonking away on xylophones and chime bars, while the class teacher was clearly having a tough time concentrating at her desk trying to do some complicated stuff on her lap top. I was ensconced in the comparative peace of the lobby just outside, recording each group’s compositions, taking a few children out of the class at a time.

Year 1 and 2 were all so tired, that we spent their lesson doing “stuff”. They had finished their “Three Little Pigs” musical topic last week, so we did some musical games (pulse and rhythm work) , some moving-to-music (moving rhythmically and expressively to music), sang some songs (singing with expression and clear diction) and then a bit of lying-down-and-listening-to-music-and-talking-about-it-afterwards (listening with attention and developing a musical vocabulary). It was work – just didn’t seem like it.

I have switched my brain off for half term; this week’s posts are on my latest purchases from Amazon and a stupendously silly “musical” game that I found on the children’s bbc website. If you were looking for deep intellectual insights, serious thinking, and critical analysis this week, well, sorry, you are in the wrong place!

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