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Letter to Parent

Posted by [email protected] on September 19, 2017 at 12:25 AM

As a specialist teacher, parents rarely express interest in my subject. This is both a curse and a blessing. Blessing because specialists have hundreds of students (a whopping 800 little musicians in my case). but the same time in a day. Then again, when parents tell you that music is an integral part of their life, it puts you in a good mood ;)!

One parent emailed me inquiering about her daughter's lessons and here was my response.

Dear Parent,

Thank you for your interest in my subject. In class, we follow the UK curriculum guidelines and the children learn key concepts through playing musical games, tuned and un-tuned percussion, and singing an eclectic mix of songs.

I structure each term in two parts:

First, a rhythmic part where children use percussion to explore pulse and rhythm, and how spoken language can link to rhythmical motives. Children are presented with musical notation and asked to compose and perform 1 or 2 bar rhythms as a class and then as small groups.

Secondly, the children use tuned percussion to play simple melodies and explore the staff and note names (letter names). We also learn the solfege names by singing along to Doe a Deer.

Throughout the year I provide support to homeroom teachers by expanding on their topic lessons by using songs which can be relevantly integrated. So these coming weeks we will be singing British songs and contrasting them with music from Bahrain. This week we will sing ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ which is a traditional Scottish song linked to their literacy work (Ed Sheeran has a nice version).

Closer to concert dates all our focus goes into rehearsing concert items and ensuring every class has memorized the lyrics and can perform beautifully.

Beyond the classroom, we are trying to make the school more musical by singing at assemblies and running musical clubs. This term I’ll be running a ukulele club and a guitar club. In previous terms, I ran a recorder club and a MUSIC PLAY club loosely based on Denise Gagne's style.

Above all, I aim to provide a varied and fun experience in hope that my students will develop a passion for music that lasts a lifetime.

For any questions whatsoever, I am always happy to meet parents for a chat.

Kind regards,

Mark Rodgers

Categories: Education

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