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Holidays are coming…

Here it comes, the end of term.  Everyone is going to start telling me that they’re winding down.  I’m sure that I’ll hear of many lessons up and down the country that simply feature the playing of a DVD maybe even with the occasional “Well, since we got through everything in the Scheme of Work, we’ll watch…” thrown in as justification.  Now, I’m not entirely against this as something that happens in the classroom but please spare a thought for your colleagues in your school’s Music Department.  Winding down?  We’re gearing up!

Many of us Music teaching types will have already had our major concert for the term last week, so it would be easy to assume that we’re on the wind down too but the odds are that we are being sucked into what I call the ‘Fun-Lesson-for-Christmas-Panic’.  On one level, I find this really exciting but, on the other, it’s a lot of work.  Allow me to explain why…

Fancy doing a fun lesson that relates to your subject and looks a little creative?  Yep?  You’ve had an idea?  What is it?  Get pupils to write a song – fab, get the Music Dept to provide instruments and recording equipment.  Get pupils to perform a rap – awesome, get the Music Dept to provide a backing track.  Watch a DVD – get the Music Dept to loan you more powerful speakers.  Carry on with the SoW but allow pupils to listen to music while they do it – ask the Music Dept for a playlist/CD.  A last day talent show for your form/year group/house – get the Music Dept to provide instruments, microphones, speakers, rehearse the performers, accompany pupils, create backing tracks, etc.

Get the idea?

Once again, don’t get me wrong.  I love it when music is used in other subjects.  I’m proud to teach a subject that is in such demand.  I will gladly provide all of the above and, for the majority of the time, I’ll do it with a smile on my face.  I just wish this end of term desire for musical lessons (and it happens in every school I’ve worked at) was spread out evenly during the year!  On top of all these smaller events, we’re probably sorting music for the panto, prizegivings, carol services and a whole host of other occasions.  Not to mention the same list of parents’ evenings, data entry, marking and reports that you have to contend with.  So, if you see your Music Teacher this week, please provide him/her with coffee. (S)he’ll appreciate you forever.