‘Learning Intentions’ vs Unconscious Learning

250 words

I have been very lucky to be offered the chance to teach music across the whole school from Nursery to Year 6. Discovering the Kodály approach has been musically enlightening but also pedagogically reassuring. For the last three years I have been a Year 1 teacher. A major feature of current educational thinking in England, led by Shirley Clarke, Dylan William and others, is the primacy of the explicit ‘Learning Intention’ usually broken down into several ‘Success Criteria’.

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Pupil Profile

This is an essay I wrote about a Year 4 pupil learning music. It’s 2300 words.

Child Profile
‘…Hungarian musical education is not merely a method, rather a philosophy on the role of music in society, in the life of the child, youth and adult.’1
Erzsebet Szonyi

Serkan, aged 9 (d.o.b. 18.12.03), lives with his mother, his father and his younger brother who is in the year below him at school. They all speak Turkish at home.

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An Introduction to Kodály

This is an essay that I wrote as part of my initial studies with the British Kodaly Academy in 2010/11.

2200 words

‘Kodály training is a holistic musical training for children: one in which the ear, the emotions, the mind and the technique are being attended to at the same time…’
Mannie Burn, BKA Newsletter, Summer 2002
The system of music education developed in Hungary during the twentieth century is named after Zoltan Kodaly (1882 – 1967).

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Yr5_Motivation, Musicianship and Multiple Brains


Motivation, Musicianship and Multiple Brains

All in a circle I remind them of the sea shanty song from last week. We sing ‘I’ve Been to Harlem’ without any warm up. The whole lesson is 30 minutes so I treat this first run-through as a warm up! I encourage the class to rock from one foot to the other on a slower tempo (minims). During a second run-through I produce a lightweight plastic football. In response the singing picks up a little in anticipation of a game*.

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Yr1_15.06.16: Ownership


All in a circle I asked for a song title. A pupil suggested ‘Seagull, Seagull Sit on the Shore’*. It’s good to start with a song that everyone knows. Children suggested different ways to show the beat while singing this song e.g. pat head or clap hands. These suggestions give a sense of ownership of the activity.
I bounced a lightweight plastic ‘football’ to everyone in the circle one by one to a chant of ‘Bounce and Catch’.

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