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Just been appointed music lead. Where to start?!

Discussion in 'Music' started by zippygeorgeandben, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. zippygeorgeandben

    zippygeorgeandben Occasional commenter

    Hello everyone,
    I am hoping you can help me.
    I have just been appointed Music lead in my 2 form entry Primary school. The HT thinks that just because I like (and can) sing and I do have a degree in music that this makes me an expert!
    I'm pretty sure that hardly any specific music is taught so I'm asking you experts, what should be on my to do list. Short/Medium/Long term priorities. I'm new to the school so still finding my feet in a way.
    Thanks for any advice you can pass on!
  2. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    I would find out exactly what music is being taught and the musical capabilities/willingness of the teachers to get involved to support you.
    You should do an audit of resources-books, CDs, instruments etc.as a starting point to add to. Ask the staff what they would like regarding musical resources too.
    Find out if there is a music scheme for the whole school to follow -if there isn't one you should think about buying one. eg Music Express, Charanga, Musical Contexts
    Find out if you have a budget. Sing Up is an excellent wole school resource but requires a subscription.
    Find out about the abilities of the children-do any of them learn an instrument, do you have any visiting peripatetic teachers. Are there any music clubs-choirs, recorders , orchestra?
    I would send out a questionnaire to parents-are there any musical parents who might be willing to come and help with musical activities?
    How much can you involve music in assemblies-ks2 need to learn about Music History. At my school the music for walking into assembly is linked to a period of music history. We have one period of music history each half term.
    I'm sure there are lots more things to think about but that's a few suggestions to get you started.
    How exciting. Good luck!!
    zippygeorgeandben likes this.
  3. nattig

    nattig New commenter

    From a secondary music teacher - I would love to know what my feeder primaries are doing in Music! Maybe contact your main secondary and see if they would want to do things with you to collaborate... also your local Music Hub should help you.

    But as for what to do with them.... sing sing sing! It's so important and also super easy (and cheap). There are resources online (YouTube is great) but also Sing Up.

    If there are instrumental teachers, as them what they would have done / would like to do.

    But try to have as much fun with it as possible - if the kids see you having fun they'll love it. I wish I could push music in my feeder primary schools!!
    sparklepig2002 likes this.
  4. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    Could you arrange to visit your feeder schools? The secondary music teacher from our local school comes in to meet year 6 and takes a couple of music lessons. It varies from one off lessons to teaching some of the songs for the leaving play. She has a copy of the music plans so she can see what has been covered.
    Could you take some of your musicians to perform at your feeder school? Perhaps do an assembly ?
    Also,in the past. year 6 have gone to the local secondary to have some music technology lessons in the computer suite and to use the steel pans. We are lucky with the cooperation between schools and we are within walking distance, which also helps.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    ViolaClef likes this.
  5. nattig

    nattig New commenter

    We do assemblies, and back when I was more free I did teach ukulele to the year 4s, but seems like they don't want year 6s away from SATs revision during the majority of the year :(

    I think I will try to have more contact with our feeders though- and I like the idea of bringing them to use out computer software! (We do have one feeder school next door!)
    sparklepig2002 likes this.
  6. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    You might like to investigate the Jolly Music scheme for the younger pupils or the scheme from the Voices Foundation. Jolly Music is highly structured and very focused on the key skills of pulse, rhythm and pitch with strong elements of Kodaly. You may also like to investigate the Dalcroze approach to bring movement into the mix.
    Young children love puppets, props or cuddly toys to enliven the learning process.
  7. zippygeorgeandben

    zippygeorgeandben Occasional commenter

    Thank you so much. Didn't want to read and run but will post in more depth later!
  8. zippygeorgeandben

    zippygeorgeandben Occasional commenter

    It's a long time since I have heard the words Kodaly or Dalcroze! Thanks so much.
    ViolaClef likes this.
  9. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter


    All the best!
  10. ralphee11

    ralphee11 New commenter

    This exact same thing happened to me a few years ago. I have NO idea about music at all and I had absolutely no idea where to start.

    First things first - school audit. Dead easy, simple form to all the class teachers. What do they have, what don't they have, what do they want? Check your whole school resources as well just to make sure nothing needs replacing or ordering in.

    Next, charanga music. Absolute god send! It has absolutely everything you need from reception up to year 6. Short, medium and long term plans. You can edit them if you want to but in the end I found that nearly all class teachers were just following charanga week by week as it was just perfect! It has all of your lesson plans, music, songs, tasks, EVERYTHING!

    We did also have Sing Up as well but in all honesty it never got used and in the end I didn't bother renewing it.
  11. zippygeorgeandben

    zippygeorgeandben Occasional commenter

    Hi everyone,
    Just want to thank you for all your advice. @ralphee11 I asked about subscribing to Charanga (after using a 30 day trial) to which my HT agreed and you're right it's been wonderful.
    I am in charge of the choir and it's going from strength to strength. I have over 40 members and not one has dropped out so far. We've looked at different genres of music and on Thursday we are performing in our local church as part of a St. Cecilia festival.
    They really look forward to coming each Wednesday, armed with their 'Choir folders' and pencils for annotations. One said to me today 'I like it that we sing and learn too!'
    Thanks once again everyone.
    frangipani123 and sparklepig2002 like this.
  12. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    Thanks for the update- I'm it's going well. :)
  13. zippygeorgeandben

    zippygeorgeandben Occasional commenter

    Just updating you all. The choir did me so proud in church. We were first on and the batteries had died in the microphone so they had to just stand there for five minutes waiting for Father to come back. They were so professional and they looked the part too.
    This week they are all getting a guide to dynamics from pp to ff!
    I'll keep you all updated if you want to know!
    digoryvenn and ViolaClef like this.
  14. schmedz

    schmedz Occasional commenter

    Sounds like you're doing a great job zippy. Just out of interest, how much music curriculum teaching time does each class get and are lessons delivered by you or the class teacher?

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