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Reading Highlights 5

reading highlights 5 - teacher and musician

This week’s reading roundup brings together discussion of assessment, advocacy, SoW design and music services.  Not the most related of concepts but, if there is a theme in this week’s roundup, then it is surely ‘straight talking’.  All four blog posts are actively avoiding dressing up their message in the ‘language of the moment’ and, instead, are seeking to discuss things both as they are and how they should be.

Martin Fautley: In which I get really ratty about linear attainment assessment.  Again.  

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Martin Fautley writes great material.  His book (Assessment in Music Education) was my first experience of reading anything about assessment that made sense for music.  Martin’s blog is also full of great insights, largely thanks to his refusal to accept fads in favour of good sense.  This particular post sees Martin comparing the reality of a child’s musical learning to the ridiculous assessment policies that some schools insist upon.  Quite simply, it’s essential reading.

David J Elliott and Marissa Silverman: Music = ax2 + bx + c.  Huh?

Picking up where Peter Greene left off (see Reading Highlights 2), this post tackles the frequent claim that music education improves pupils’ performance in other subjects.  Drawing on the work of Glenn Schellenberg, Elliott and Silverman suggest that the link between high IQ and music participation is an example of spurious correlation.  Will this impact on the way in which you promote instrumental lessons and KS4 music?  

Jane Werry: KS3: another revamp!  Onwards and upwards…

We’ve had two weeks without Jane Werry appearing in the reading roundup, so it’s great to read this fantastic blog post about revamping her KS3.  I always like to see how teachers go about building their schemes of work and, in this post, I was really interested (and pleased) to see that Jane makes this a very collaborative affair, with her team clearly having a big role to play in its development.  

Emma Coulthard: Music services – someone still loves you…

This month’s TeachTalk: Music editorial looks at how the difference between the English and Welsh funding models has resulted in a divergence of practice.  While England made a sudden move to music education hubs, Wales still makes use of music services.  In particular, the need to maintain a self-funding system was of great interest to me and it’s heartening to see that the way Emma has achieved this is by developing excellent relationships with local schools.  If music education is a business, then this is the way that it should be conducted.