Teacher and Musician Challenge 12 - collaborate musically

Yesterday, was a great day.  I was working with Anna Gower to develop resources for the new Musical Futures: Just Play approach to primary school music teaching.  Lots of work (and coffee) went into creating what we think are really strong products and I’m very excited to see how primary teachers respond when it’s all published.

John Kelleher and Anna Gower plan Just Play

The planning session that inspired this week’s #TandMchallenge

One of the things that characterised yesterday’s method of working was the musical way that Anna and I were communicating with each other.  Body percussion, air guitar/keyboards (with accompanying vocal sounds), scat singing and desk tapping were all central to making our meaning clear to each other.  We were communicating with each other in a musical manner.

The challenge: collaborate musically

Next time you are working with a music education colleague, focus on punctuating your verbal communication with music.  Instead of saying ‘three crotchets and two quavers’, tap it out on the desk.  Rather than just pointing at the printed music on a handout, hum the riff.  Whenever making a musical sound would clarify the meaning, make that musical sound.

This challenge isn’t rocket science.  It’s not expecting you to do anything that you wouldn’t normally do when speaking to another musician.  It’s getting you to find additional moments to communicate musically so that it becomes even more of a habit.  Taking more opportunities to communicate this way with colleagues will help you to find the same opportunities to communicate musically with pupils.

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