Top Tips for Music Teachers
Here are some Top Tips for Music Teachers.
Let us know what you want Top Tips on!
5 Top Tips on how to raise the Profile of the Arts in your School
Cultural Education is seeing increasing investment and acknowledgement within the curriculum. In London, the Arts Council, England, (ACE) is funding the Cultural Education Challenge, a £900,000 programme designed to bring about an improvement in the engagement of young people in the Arts over the next three years.
We mentioned the ACE Challenge in our July newsletter, where we included a downloadable activity sheet to inspire summer activities. It is a push towards inclusive Arts education, described on the ACE website as a mechanism “to make sure that more children and young people can create, compose, and perform; visit, experience and participate in extraordinary work, and be able to know more, understand more, and review the experiences they’ve had.” Follow this link for further information.
In line with these exciting steps to engage young people in the Arts, the Music Workshop Company team have put together these Top Tips on raising the profile of the Arts in your school:
Invite a local musician to introduce your school concert or appear as a soloist. Involving a well-known personality will not only inspire students, it will help bring in interest from local media and raise the profile of your event. You could also invite a local dignitary or local artist or musician to open an art exhibition or to attend the first night of a show.
Organise for students to do interviews on local radio about concerts, shows, plays, dance performance or art exhibitions. The experience and excitement of appearing on radio will be a great motivator for young people and add confidence and commitment to the project. Links to local BBC Radio channels are listed here.
Ensure you get listings on local websites and in local newspapers for all Arts events. As soon as students can see that their work has a wider reach than the confines of the school, they will get added satisfaction and excitement.
Interview a past student who has been successful in the Arts for the school magazine or website
An excellent resource for every aspect of raising the profile of the Arts – the Teacher’s Toolkit by A New Direction and have a look at this great video by St Marylebone School which vividly puts the case for the importance and validity of Arts in the curriculum.
8 Top Resources for Black History Month (October UK, February US)
October is Black History Month. It’s a fantastic opportunity to explore a range of cultures, music and tradition. We’ve put together some top tips on activities and resources to get you started…
The first place to look is on the Black History Month 2015 websites: Black History Month 2015 and Official Black History Month UK. There is lots of information on events and plenty of ideas for lives to celebrate.
Explore the Jazz n’Blues You Tube channel
Celebrate the life of those behind the music. Explore the life and work of Quincy Jones
Celebrate Music of Black Origin through the MOBO Awards
Explore British Soul through the work of these women
8 Top Tips on how to create your own Festival
A festival doesn’t have to be a multi-million pound event full of mud, music and wellies; it can be a great way to engage with the local community and to give students a focus to their work. So how do you go about hosting your own festival?
MWC’s Maria has worked extensively in music management. She has organised events in a range of venues such as the Royal Opera House, Hatfield House, St Albans Abbey and even the Louvre! She has put together some top tips on how to create a fun festival in your school or club, all with minimum budget and planning!
Consider whether your festival will take place on one day or whether it should last for several days or even a whole week. What else is going on that week? Is the venue or hall you need available?
Find out what skills and experience you have access to. Members of your team, students, the PTA, and people in the local community often have expertise to offer and are happy to help out. Try to think outside the box. You may be surprised how much help you can get
Think about the resources you’ll need. What musical instruments, sports equipment, arts and crafts materials do you already have? Do you have access to other equipment you can borrow? What instruments or sports equipment do the students have?
Think of a theme for your event - arts, music, sports, a multi-cultural event, or a combination of topics. Or is there a local festival or World event you want to observe? Remember the Olympics had a Cultural Olympiad as well as the sports events
Will the festival celebrate activities that you already do well, or will it be an opportunity to introduce new activities?
Will there be prizes, or is the focus on taking part?
What will be the Grand Finale? Will you hold an art exhibition or a concert or a play open to parents? A sports day? A party?
Encourage support and involvement from the local community. Will local restaurants or caterers donate food? Will a local art shop donate art and craft supplies? Could a parent or local artist give a talk or a demonstration?
Inspiration for creating your own Festival
An Arts Festival
Create a play. This involves creative writing, composition (writing a sound track), creating costumes, scenery and marketing materials such as flyers and posters
A Music Festival. Ask students and other participants to prepare a piece of music to perform or dance to. Create visual art to show while the music is being performed or create costumes for dancing
A Multi-Cultural Festival
Encourage students and other participants to bring in items from cultures around the World, whether these reflect their own background, a neighbour’s background or somewhere they have visited. Items don’t have to be things; they could include art, music, food, clothes, films, dance, photos, souvenirs, and each classroom could represent a different place in the World
Each class could choose a country or part of the World to explore, creating dances, music and designs influenced by the traditional cultures of that country
Have a look at these useful resources for more ideas…
Scrapstores - www.scrapstoresuk.org
Museums & Art - www.culture24.org.uk/home
Contact us now to discuss workshops for your Festival or Arts week.
8 Top Tips for Supporting Young Musicians
Encourage students through performance opportunities; school concerts, assemblies, parents evenings, class recitals, music competitions in and out of school.
Find out about funding bodies such as Future Talent who offer funding to help Young Musicians as well as performance opportunities and mentoring.
Find out about performance opportunities locally. Music hubs, youth orchestras and bands, amateur orchestras, bands, choirs, dramatic or operatic societies, music clubs or societies are always keen for new members and young people are often extremely welcome.
Find out about national performance opportunities. The National Youth Orchestra, National Youth Wind Orchestra, CBSO Youth Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Hallé Youth Orchestra and Young Sinfonia at the Sage, Gateshead are just some of the high level ensembles available to talented students.
Recommend recordings on Spotify or You Tube.
Recommend performances they might like. Live concerts such as the BBC Proms often have tickets available from £5, and orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic have a wonderful series of webcasts. You can sometimes even watch the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Metropolitan Opera or performances from the Royal Opera House at the cinema.
Encourage students to attend events such as Rhinegold’s Music Education Expo, an annual opportunity to explore the options in music education, workshops and masterclasses with visiting tutors, or any other music-related events they can get to.
Online resources can be very helpful. ViolinSchool is a great place to find violin-specific tuition support and information, YouTube has a wealth of masterclasses with top instrumentalists, often in manageable chunks, but sometimes full-length videos of an hour or more, and websites for music radio stations and magazines such as Classic FM and the BBC have a huge amount of musical information for enthusiastic learners.
Be wary of recommending online instrumental tutorials until you have checked out the quality though. There is a lot of bad teaching online and you have to sift a bit to find the most valuable output.
5 Top Tips for putting on a concert
The team at MWC have lots of experience of organising concerts both in schools and at other venues and have noticed that there are certain things that need to be considered to get the most out of a school or community group concert. As organising concerts is often a job for the Music Teacher, we wanted to share our checklist of ideas:
Consider the dates of other local events such as other school or music centre concerts or concerts by local amateur groups. Many musical children may be involved in more than one music group, and your audience can’t be in two places at once.
Think about how parents, friends and supporters will book tickets. Will they buy them in person at the school office, through a printed booking form, a contact form on the school website or through an event website? The easier you can make it for people to get their tickets, the more likely they are to come.
Think about refreshments for the event. Can you get sponsorship from a local business for drinks and snacks, or will a local café or pub come in and run the catering for you? Perhaps you can ask for volunteers to help run a drinks table or add a small cost onto the ticket to include a glass of wine.
Will you use the event as a chance to fundraise for the school or community group? Fundraising can be done through selling tickets, asking for donations, selling programmes, selling advertising space in the programme or even selling school merchandise. If you’re asking for donations or sponsorship, make sure the fundraising clearly benefits the performers. You could use the money raised to buy new equipment for the music or performing arts department, or even to cover the costs of a tour.
Do you have enough parking for all the audience members? If not, could you encourage car sharing, check with local residents if people can park across their drives for the evening, use the school mini bus to collect people, or see if a local taxi firm or mini bus company will provide transport as a form of sponsorship?
Read our blog for more ideas about how to organise a Christmas or End of Year concert.
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