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Reading highlights 1

this week's reading for music teachers - teacher and musician

There’s been some really interesting music education articles over the last seven days.  The ones that have had me doing the most thinking included discussion of social networks, Todoist karma, raising standards and the evolution of Musical Futures.  Here’s a quick round up of the articles that got me thinking.

David Ashworth: Social networking for music teachers –where do we go from here?

David’s article prompted me to write a brief response, which I posted on Monday.  Building on the writing he did to formally announce the closure of the TeachingMusic network, David looked at the evolution of that site and highlighted the scale of the contribution it made to social networking for music teachers.  He goes on to suggest that the talk from the variety of online platforms needs to be captured and converted into documents that should then be shared with the people “who make the big decisions regarding music education”.  This suggestion is very much in keeping with how I’ve seen the potential future of MufuChat but that’s another blog post entirely…  

Jane Wheeler: Towards Raising Standards in KS3

One of the many impressive outcomes from the Teach Through Music programme has been the blog posts created by its participants.  A lot of good quality writing has emerged and I’ve only recently started getting to grips with the sheer volume of teacher-generated content that can be found here.  Jane’s post appealed to me primarily because of the focus on Key Stage 3 music teaching.  I very much believe that secondary teachers should focus their efforts on KS3 since this is where we get to impact the largest number of lives.  While I take issue with Jane’s definition of Musical Futures, I find her line of thinking about “knowing enough chemistry” to win a Nobel prize very interesting.  

Rhian Jones: The Future’s Bright

From a blog post with a passing reference to Musical Futures to one that looks at the past, present and (musical) future of the now not-for-profit organisation.  I consider myself very privileged to be able to do associate work for Musical Futures and it was a pleasure to read through this Music Teacher Magazine article, which made the core MF mission very clear – making sure that as many people as possible benefit from making music.  

Jane Werry: Diary of a Head of Music

I always enjoy reading Jane’s writing and this month’s column even started out with mention of one of my favourite apps (Todoist), which was sure to hook me in.  Jane even manages to throw in reference to any music teacher’s all-too-familiar reality of having to conduct with a sandwich in hand and a tale of irreverence towards departmental development planning.  This reflection on the realities of gained time made for a great read worthy of spending some of your own gained time on.