1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

How to interest a challenging class of 10 year olds.

Discussion in 'Music' started by joyfulflute, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. I have been a visiting classroom music teacher for some time, but this term I have been moved to a different set of schools. I have always enjoyed the job and my pupils have usually enjoyed my lessons and have achieved targets. However in one new school I have a very challenging class who mess about, shout out silly comments and laugh outrageously at everything they are asked to do.They refuse to try to sing properly, and seem to belt out songs at the top of their voices in a monotone, or make up silly voices. (I am pretty sure this is not down to inability to sing, they are at it!) They continually ask when their old music teacher is coming back. This is extremely deflating and exhausting. I have always tried to make music lessons fun and purposeful, but in this class it is no fun for anyone and I'm not sure how much learning is going on. I began the term teaching tried and tested lessons that have been successful with past classes.

    I have taught challenging classes before, but this one is something else.

    Any tips or encouragement would be appreciated. Or any fabulous lesson or song ideas that might be a hit would help.

  2. TreesK

    TreesK New commenter

    Poor you ! How grim.
    Talk to their teacher - are they like this a lot and what strategies does she use? Also, what was the previous music teacher like ? It's quite possible that they were allowed to get away with this sort of thing with him/her, so they are unwilling to start making an effort.
    Or, if he/she was really good, you maybe need to continue with similar or connected work... but I expect you already are.
    Nail them down. Do teacher-led activities where only the very best behaved get to handle instruments. Do written tasks and nake a huge fuss about quality - be prepared to keep kids in or make them repeat things. Praise to the skies even the most basic good behaviour and use rewards (or 'bribes' as they're better known. ) You need to get the school's sanction/reward system working for you. Get an arrangement set up where you can send the kids out to a teacher/head if badly behaved, and they will still have to catch up with work. Show them in every way that you are a proper, real teacher, part of the school team and won't give up. It's horrible and exhausting, but stick to it, demand support from the staff, and things will improve.
    So they aren't singing properly - use warm ups that focus on this (have you brought your singing voices type thing, look on SingUp) Model, play examples of children singing, get them to sing pp, hum, siren, ask them to choose songs...if they keep arsing about then it's written tasks and off to the HT with the worst offender.
    Probably teaching grandmother to suck eggs etc but I do feel for you! So hard to 'crack' a tough class if you are only in for a short time. Insist on support!
    Good luck!
  3. Thanks. I had a look at the SingUp website. It looks really good.

    I think I let today get to me a bit! It's tiring trying to make a good first impression in 4 new schools, and learn their routines. I'm sure I'll be fine in a few weeks.

Share This Page