It’s been a busy couple of weeks working with teachers to deliver Musical Futures workshops across the UK and internationally delivering workshops to introduce them to practical, engaging and developmental music programs for their classrooms. Delivery in the UK is lead by Fran Hannan, Managing Director, and is supported by a fantastic team of practising music teachers from schools across the UK in order to demonstrate the approaches in action in an authentic setting. We’re all passionate about what we do – finding ways to help fellow teachers and those that work with young people deliver great music teaching – and on occasions we get to hear that we do! Here’s an email we received this week from a teacher who attended one of our Just Play workshops – it gladdened our hearts!
“I’m so happy I pushed to get to this course – it so nearly didn’t happen! It was really mindblowingly amazing! It will totally transform my music lessons! When I filled in the form at the end of the day on Tuesday, I hadn’t had a chance to think through how much it would impact my teaching and how amazing it was… so I’m telling you now.
There were so many fun ways to develop and teach musical skills in my pupils… one example is, the fact that I’ve always felt that it’s a shame, as someone who plays drums, guitar and piano, I hadn’t been given tools to transfer my skills and teach those instruments to my students. One big deterrent is the fact that the school has no drums, guitars etc… but even if the school had had, I wouldn’t have known how to teach that in a classroom setting – with 30 kids in my small classroom, in a half hour or 40 min lesson. Having witnessed it now myself, I can see that I can do this myself – and it’s actually really easy!
Another thing is the concept of “Just Play” – just start and then learn the skills later as you go along. It’s sort of given me permission to do just that. I always worried, how would I teach proper fingering, or position, all that boring stuff – and maintain classroom control – and the pupils’ interest. I didn’t know how to get round that. The concept of just starting, throw all the old order of lessons out the window, just start, and as our workshop leader said, chip away the granite until you eventually get to good fingering / position etc.. And meanwhile, kids are developing a love for the instruments and the confidence that “I can play this”!
In 2 minutes, our workshop leader showed us how to teach basic drumming skill using just a chair, and even just your body. So simple. Yet so brilliant!
It was so good on so many levels…
I could go on and on but I’ve got to get to work here, so just to thank you again, especially for staying up late and helping me sort out all the details the night before!
I’m really excited at all the new possibilities this course has opened up for my pupils!
So thanks again!”
Just Play London delegate – 15th November 2017