Yr5_Reinforce the Learning

Year 5
Reinforce the Learning
This week the lesson takes place in the regular classroom of this class because the Music Room is being used for some P4C training http://www.philosophy4children.co.uk/. I kick off the lesson by reminding the class of their ‘Class Challenge’. I always give a small challenge to each class to practise something ready for the next lesson. Ideally they will have perfected it. I always keep a record of the classes that have done it or failed to do it.

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Reception_Dynamics: Calm and Lively!



Dynamics: Calm and Lively!

This lesson is the first session of the year with this class. Most of the children were in the Nursery last year but not all. It’s supposed to be a thirty-minute session but it might last less than that. I just want to keep it light and fun. If the children leave the session smiling and they’ve moved around to the songs and listened to some songs and joined in a bit too then I’ll be happy.

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Community Song 2 Lyrics

Community Song 2016 LYRICS
Songs from Scotland, Holland, Italy, France, Bangladesh, Somalia, Kenya and Syria as well as English and South African Islamic nasheeds and a Kurdish chant.
(Give Thanks to Allah by South African Zain Bhika and 99 names of Allah by English Kamal Uddin)

1. Samia
Somali, Swahili and Arabic

2. I Love You Mama
معاشل:بنيتي الحبوبه
حلا :انا
مشاعل:حلوة وطيوبه
مشاعل:لما ابيها تنام تمسك ايديا
مشاعل:وتطلب هاديه

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Yr4_All On Board!


All On Board!
As so often I began by singing ‘Hello Everyone’ using some pitches that the class are familiar with; in this case I used the pitches ‘la’, ‘so’ and ‘mi’ (‘lsm’ or in note names A, G & E). There are three classes in each year group and the first time I did this lesson I made this activity too hard by singing difficult intervals; it was not a good way to open the lesson. It’s important to have something familiar and manageable to start with.

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Yr6_Always increasing the challenge!


Year 6
Always increasing the challenge!
It’s a new year and it’s the first day back. I need something immediately engaging and fun to do. How to make it engaging? Choose a song that’s easy to sing. How to make it fun? Include a bouncing ball in the accompanying activity. And so we begin our lesson with ‘I Like Coffee, I Like Tea’*. The buzzing energy of post-lunchbreak overexcitement and overheating (!) is quickly channelled into a focus on getting this game right.

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My Kodály Journey – Part I

I wrote this article for the British Kodály Academy Newsletter (Spring 2011)

1100 words

As a primary school teacher I have always tried to put a lot of music into what I do. Over the years this has included playing guitar and singing with my classes, teaching ‘cello, running a computer music club, leading the school choir and so on. In November 2008 I moved to Forest Gate in Newham, and on my first evening there I read a copy of The Newham Recorder.

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My Kodály Journey – Part II (three years on)

I wrote this article for the British Kodaly Academy’s newsletter (Spring 2014)

1100 words

“…if it is possible to change the world we have not created, that of nature, why not change the world of our own creation, that of culture…?” 1
Paulo Freire

Since writing in the Spring 2011 newsletter about my recent introduction to Kodály music teaching I have completed the BKA’s HE1 and HE3 Methodology courses and worked my way through the Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced Musicianship courses with the Kodály Centre of London (David and Yuko Vinden).

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‘Slow Education’ and Music Education

I wrote the following article for the Slow Education movement’s website: http://sloweducation.co.uk/

600 words

Parents, teachers and head teachers are increasingly attracted to ‘slow education’ as the schools they are involved with become more limited in their outlook: a narrow curriculum (e.g. the E-BACC in secondary schools) feeding a test-driven system (e.g. SPAG tests and high stakes SATs in primary schools) where there is little room for reflection and experimentation and, as if to highlight this, a devaluing of the creative arts.

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Music Education in England

An article for the briefing document of the Westminster Education Forum’s Keynote Seminar: ‘The Future of Music Education in England’. 09.12.16

600 words

We heard from numerous organisations on the day: Youth Music, In Harmony, Sistema England, Musical Futures, individual schools, individual authorities and so on. I am encouraged by Westminster Education Forum, in writing this article, to focus on relevant issues “…not your organisation’s achievements or activities”.

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