Alternative title: “Thank you big multinational conglomerate for making me a better teacher”
Support networks for music teachers
When trawling through the analytics of this blog, I noticed that lots of people are searching for support from other teachers. The internet already has a huge number of support networks available for music teachers, so I thought that I would compile the best of them in this blog post. I’ve covered the following networks:
- Peer to Peer Network
- Teach Through Music
- TeachTalk: Music
- The Facebook Groups
Peer to Peer Network
In the interests of full disclosure, I should highlight that one of my roles is Network Manager for the Peer to Peer Network.
The Peer to Peer Network was created by Music Mark to support the Peer to Peer CPD Programme, which is part of the London Schools Excellence Fund. Since then, the network has grown from its original function to become a discussion forum for all areas of the music education community. The Peer to Peer Network allows members to blog, send each other friend requests and form their own working groups.
The centre of the network has to be the discussion forum, which allows for extended debates including the MufuChat pre/post-chat (more on this later). I’ve always loved discussion forums and there have been some great questions asked on PtPN.
Teach Through Music
Like the Peer to Peer CPD Programme, Teach Through Music is a CPD initiative funded through the London Schools Excellence Fund. Although not strictly a support network, Teach Through Music hosts blogs written by participants. I often enjoy having a read through these blog posts as it provides a great insight into the wider world of music teaching and the specific challenges faced by teachers. Well worth a read.
Facebook has long had ‘group features’ that allow people to create their own sub-networks on the world’s largest social network. It didn’t take long for music teachers to realise that this could be a really convenient way for teachers to share ideas and resources and there’s now a variety of different ‘working groups’ that are well established. Membership is ‘closed’ but the huge number of contributors for each group ensures that you will have your request to join approved quickly.
Posts to the group tend to get a quick response from a number of different respondents, so you’re likely to get a few different perspectives on any question you ask. I would urge some degree of caution when posting specific queries – it’s quite common to see people asking about advice for interview lessons and I can’t help but wonder what the observer would think if (s)he’d seen the post on Facebook beforehand. On other fronts, however, the Facebook groups can be a great source of support in times of need.
Here’s a hyperlinked listing of all the music teacher Facebook groups that I’m aware of. If I’ve missed any, then please send me a tweet and I’ll update the list.
London Early Years Music Network
KS3 Music – Hints and Tips
KS2 Music – Hints and Tips
AQA GCSE Music Teachers
AQA A-Level Music Teachers
Edexcel GCSE Music Teachers working group
Edexcel Music A-Level teachers
OCR GCSE Music Teachers
OCR A-Level Music Teachers’ Working Group
WJEC GCSE Music
RSL Music Practitioner Teachers
BTEC Music Level 2 teachers
BTEC Music Teachers Working Group