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.
Discussion in 'Music' started by foxyglover, Jan 12, 2007.
Have you tried- www.themusicland.co.uk
This is material written by teachers. They are easy to download. There is a section on cover lessons.
www.musicatschool.co.uk also has some helpful worksheets that may tie into your schemes of work.
There's a fantastic set of music cover lessons written by a Head of Music I did an INSET with last year. The thing I like is that you get all the lessons as Word documents too.
Thanks for your suggestions
Is the Musicland site worth joining?
foxyglover are you sure you didn't mean http://www.chalkface.com ? You may have been looking at
Please have a look at www.activemusicdigital.co.uk.
168 progressive, skill-based lesson plans
Over 600 videos of singing games and musical activities to accompany the lesson plans
Over 200 notations and activity sheets
Free trial available.
I never use written worksheets for cover lessons.
Option 1: students carry on with what they would have been doing if I wasn't there - if they've had a lesson or two already, and are working on playing keyboard pieces or composing on computers, this is fine. They might not get as far as they would have, but at least they're doing something musical. I sometimes leave an extra piece of music in case they get stuck.
Option 2: students have a keyboard performance lesson, where I leave loads of pieces of music for them to choose between. Always leave a note for the cover teacher asking them to allow 10 mins to get them to collect in and tidy music! Tunes they know and will want to play. They normally help each other then if stuck.
Option 3: for classes I don't entirely trust to be sensible with music equipment when I'm not there, or who haven't learnt enough to be left to it - I book a computer room and set them online tasks. E.g. Researching a style of music and making a PowerPoint about it, testing themselves on musictheory.net, etc. linked to the unit of work if possible.
Voila. No worksheets, no colouring or poster design, fairly happy kids who are still getting a music lesson of sorts and not berating the cover teacher for depriving them. Not too teacher-led for cover teacher. And no money to spend beyond printing very reusable music sheets.
Obviously, may not work in all school settings, but worth a try...
I have found all of these suggestions really useful so thank you to everyone for sharing.
Another great website to send them to for computer-based music activities is
This was developed by a teacher and has fantastic tutorials and revision games which you can assign based on your topic or just on listening or notation skills. I get my students to take screenshots of their scorecards when they achieve 100% in the games. When they get 100% I give them a merit certificate which is a very effective motivator!
I am a supply teacher and I would say the suggestion about booking a computer room and setting the students a music related task is in my view the best.
I absolutely hate music lessons and the best ones are where the students are left a task to do on the computers.
The worst ones are where the students are supposed to know what to do, but obviously dont, and they get bored on the instruments after 5 minutes.
Just as my faith in the profession was fading, I am finally jolted to attention by a teacher with passion in their heart. Pepper5, I thank you, and I only wish you could be bottled. Your 'absolute hatrid' of music lessons chimes heavenly with the TES community. If only every music lesson was like yours, with the wretched little tykes chained to a computer showing subservience to their master and engaging in turgid, inconsequential electronic musing, while the soul of the bitter, critically lobotomised supply teacher rots in a coffee induced stupor. Music lessons with instruments? Pah! You're right - they are the worse. Boring beyond compare and offering so little to the musical development of your charges. You are our hero, of course - stepping in to hold court when the regular, pathetic, infirm, instrument-wielding teacher is taken ill, or is engaging in valuable CPD to realign their maverick ways. Bless you.