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Still getting passed over for teaching post to Music Technology Graduates when I play several instruments

Discussion in 'Music' started by catbefriender, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Dear Musicians

    Every post I have applied for as a music teacher I have lost to a Music Technology graduate. Schools are convinced that they are best placed to teach MusicTechnology A Level and Music and MusicTechnology BTEC even though there are parts of the curriculum that require traditional musicianship skills. The jobs I have applied for are teaching music KS3-5 and as we know MusicTech only appears at KS5. The secondary music teaching world is going mad, in my neck of the woods anyway. I've been doing by own some stuff on the creative uses of Music Technology i.e. aural analysis, composition using music technology, production techniques such as layering, mixing etc and believe I can teach this subject in an innovative way but nobody seems to think I can do it because I am classically trained. I'm really into funk music and have learnt that a lot of the experimentation that took place in the 60s and 70s, e.g. adapting guitar pedals for keyboard etc. have influenced all genres that use music technology. Music Technology is supposed to support music and not be an entity in itself and it seems that the musician who spent years indoors practicising rather than playing and watching TV is being sidetracked. Also the greatest innovators in this field were all classically trained. And you know what my response is to this constant slight: I'm going to learn how to play the Ukulele AND get myself a digital drum kit and an iMac so I can experiment with layering more funky sounds. Musicianship skills rule folks with our without technology! Those in agreement say 'Aye!'
     
  2. casper

    casper New commenter

    This is all very well. but i though a lot of universities are not including Music tech qualifications on their list of approved subjects for degree subjects?? This was the case a few years ago when my own kids were applying for university.
     
  3. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    There still exists predjudice in certain quarters about the academic merits of certain A Levels like Music Tech, ICT, Pyschology, General Studies, Media Studies and Business Studies etc. But regardless of that Music Tech is taking over KS5 Music. The hypocrisy is Gove and his croonies are going on about standards, suggestions to bring back learning grammar into the English curriculum, more factual History etc. yet Trad Music with all its merits is being sidelined. The amount of HoDs who strongly feel that teaching notation is 'a waste of time,' 'not necesssary,' 'too difficult after 11 years of age,' 'elitist' etc. We need a broad based Music curriculum and the Trad skills aids learning in other genres.
     
  4. As a music HOD my alarm bells would start ringing at your mention of Music Technology only appearing at Key Stage 5. In my school this is not the case, we teach Key Stage 3 lessons 50% traditional instruments, 50% technology. In Y9 students follow a bespoke pathway working toward a BTEC which they can choose to specialise in performance or technology, and we offer NCFE Music Technology in Key Stage 4.
    I would suggest establishing a clearer understanding of how Music Technology should be integrated into a modern curriculum from Key Stage 1 onwards, which doesn't need to be at the detriment on core music subject knowledge and understanding.
     
  5. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    I am totally aware of how music technology is integrated into music teaching from KS3 onwards. I have taught intensively Music Tech at KS3, doing a 3 whole SoWs in Music Tech but I was refused tthe job because I did not have extensive experience of teaching it at KS5 in the BTEC or A Level Music Tech course. I have experience of it but the preference is for A GRADUATE WITH MUSIC TECH which is not what I am. I am keen to learn and am creating new and innovative resources to teach all sorts of activities at KS3 such as layering sounds, inputting drum rhythms and guitar riffs via keyboards or instruments and getting students away from the 'find a loop' and copy through the whole song attitude. I am appalled that my extensive teaching of Music Tech at KS3 does not count for anything and I am constantly being denied work because I have a Trad degree. EVERY POST I HAVE GONE FOR AS GONE TO A MUSIC TECH GRADUATE. Even when it is advertised as a Music Teacher KS3-5. Please read my post properly before making comments.
     
  6. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Of course I read the spec and I am stating that there are skills within the spec that a Trad Musician would do well in such as arranging, composing, jazz styles etc. Most if not all music teachers have Music Tech skills and many of whom have taught themselves through manuals or do intensive courses etc. In fact most HoDs have learnt it that way but there is now a preference to taking on Music Tech graduates and not allowing teachers like me to learn and develop on the job. What I have learnt at home is not applicable, it what I have taught at KS5 that only matters to them. If it were specifically for KS5 teaching I would agree BUT it should stipulate that it is a KS5 course and a Music Tech graduate is preferred but I reiterate it was a for a KS3-5 course and the level of specialism is not that great at KS3 and 4 as it is at 5. And the level needed at KS5 is obtainable to the average Music graduate. Interestingly enough, my first mentor has been 'replaced' and the job went to a Music Tech graduate who hasn't got a first instrument either and he is a one man department. So if you haven't got a Music Tech degree, you may find it difficult to move posts.
     
  7. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    In fact, I am VERY VERY confident, I have the resources in terms of equipment, books, manuals, DVDs, access to funding for courses, specialist tutors I can use etc to teach Music Tech at KS5. But will I ever be given the chance? Probably not.....
     
  8. The last 4 music teachers that I have appointed after interview have all been traditional musicians who have some technological knowledge and are keen to learn, again this is anecdotal evidence but so is your experience.
    If your real life persona and attitude is anything like your online one, judging by your responses to replies in this thread, this may be a contributing factor to why you are finding it difficult to secure employment.
     
  9. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Dear Keineboom

    Many thanks for your offensive remarks. The main reason why I and even my referees beleive I am out of work, even though I have it written down I have 'excellent musicianship skills, indepth understanding of AFL etc...' my application, references, lesson were outstanding/very good etc. is I really, really believe NOT because of the feeble excuse given by HoDs to my lack of Music Tech KS5 teaching but because I have a disability and they feel/fear that I may not be up to the physical demands of the job. The fact that I can sing operatically and have a Licentiate in Classical Flute performance should give an idea of the physical strength I have. And I believe Grade 8 piano skills are really impressive but not enough to get you employment when you are disabled. However hope is being put in place, as the DWP are committed to getting me in employment and are exploring all barriers and are currently exploring whether, if I were given the specialist Music Tech training, my employment chances would really, really improve (or would HoDs come up with another reason for employing an able bodied 25 year old who can't play an instrument?) It is annoying to have once been the teacher EVERYONE wanted to employ with my Drama and Dance training to being the one everybody has to find an 'safe' excuse not to employ. So Keineboom please try to THINK before you make your useless comments that the person you are insulting may be recovering from serious illness and is being treated in this way by this profession for reasons outside of their control. Finding employment is much much harder when you are disabled: FACT.
     
  10. Catbefriender, you have my apologies and sympathies with your situation. I don't have any understanding of trying to search for employment as a disabled candidate. I was merely replying to your initial posts along the lines of music technology. Your skills and musical experiences are impressive, but sadly almost irrelevant for teaching music at the level you are qualified to teach. I do wonder how useful operatic singing and classical flute performance are to inner city school children, which is not something I'm suggesting is a good thing. The falling numbers we have seen in our school's 'traditional' music tuition (from over 100 5 years ago to less than 20 currently) are indicative of how little interest learners have in traditional music tuition. Unfortunately every one wants to be the next X Factor/Pop Idol/Joseph winner, or play rock instruments. I'm not sure what the answer is, but teachers and teaching need to respond to the interests of the next generation of musicians. Good luck with your career.
     
  11. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Dearest Keinebloom
    Apologies accepted. I am operatically/classical trained but perform, compose, arrange in a contemporary jazz style. I'm very into Ella Fitzergerlad/Duke Ellington era stuff but I have realised that is just too old fashioned for today's kids hence, I've started working on Funk music from the 60s to present as a way to develop percussive playing styles to support my students love of contemporary R&B styles which is really very watered down syncopated funk rhythms and jazz chords. I rarely sing opera, although I use the techniques and my knowledge of singing and voice production (drama training) to develop my students singing (I have been noted to be very good at this). I am extremely talented in differentiating scores to enable even the less able instrumentalist to perform in ensembles.
    I am receptive to all types of music, classical, World (I particularly love South American, African and Indian), Pop, Motown, Rock, Funk, Reggae etc and have created brilliant teaching resources. In all honestly, I definitely have a much better profile and am a much better musician and music teacher because of my disability because I understand the predjudices I will face. I believe I am being discriminated against and of course am looking at alternative avenues of employment.
    It is annoying to have developed to this level and to be passed over, again and again, for musicians and music teachers that haven't even instrumentalist or basic musicianship skills. But at least I have all day to practice!
     
  12. On the page I referred to, which is the equivalent to an A-Level in Music Tech, none of those units exist. For the full Extended Diploma these would also not necessarily be used, it would depend on the centre. A unit such as Audio Engineering is likely to be a preferential choice for a centre over a unit such as Improvising in a Jazz Style when you are trying to train music technologists and prepare them for further study in that subject area.
    Most have basic skills but not to the level that you would need to competently teach a lot of these units. A lot of places will also prefer applicants who have vocational experience in this area, given the choice.
    With todays technology it is possible to download tutorials on 'how to play the piano', it doesn't mean it is anywhere near as effective as the training you would get from studying under a master for a decade.

    I think you should be careful about belittling the subject area, music tech is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. I appreciate that you may feel a little bitter with regard to the subject area considering your most recent experiences but it is a challenging subject area. As with anything, learning it properly is not a case of going on a couple of courses.
     
  13. On the page I referred to, which is the equivalent to an A-Level in Music Tech, none of those units exist. For the full Extended Diploma these would also not necessarily be used, it would depend on the centre. A unit such as Audio Engineering is likely to be a preferential choice for a centre over a unit such as Improvising in a Jazz Style when you are trying to train music technologists and prepare them for further study in that subject area.
    Most have basic skills but not to the level that you would need to competently teach a lot of these units. A lot of places will also prefer applicants who have vocational experience in this area, given the choice.
    With todays technology it is possible to download tutorials on 'how to play the piano', it doesn't mean it is anywhere near as effective as the training you would get from studying under a master for a decade.

    I think you should be careful about belittling the subject area, music tech is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. I appreciate that you may feel a little bitter with regard to the subject area considering your most recent experiences but it is a challenging subject area. As with anything, learning it properly is not a case of going on a couple of courses.
    Most HoD's may have learnt it on the job which would be enough to cover the basics, the point I was trying to make is, if the HoD already has the skill set that you do and they are extending their provision to KS5 in technology then they will need someone more skilled in this area. The fact that the posts you are applying are not stating this does seem unfair. I also certainly hope that you aren't being discriminated against because of a disability.
    Yes it should if this is the case.
    This is not the case across the country catbefriender, every school needs traditional music, and despite the challenges we have, and will continue to face with regard to our provision, I am sure that this will be the case for the foreseeable future. I hope you have better luck with further applications.
     
  14. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    I am not belittling the subject but I am confident when given the resources, which I would even be willing to self invest in (would definitely be funded in doing), I could do this. I have already established avenues for doing this such as sourcing graduate/postgraduate modules which would be a semester long, I can take independently as well as having industry standard professionals give me 1to1 tutoring in my own home or at school etc.
    But I do not believe in wasting my money learning a skill which, if I probably had, may still not allow me to get a job because I have not actually used it in KS5 teaching context or some other excuse would be given.
    Ideally, it would be great if posts came up where a necessity for a Music Tech specialism was a prerequisite so I could save my time.
    One thing that really makes me feel a lot better is, if I were given employment, the school would be funded beyond their funding dreams. If you can imagine the funding for a PGCE student or a GTP and even if you were to double it, triple it, even quadrupple it, you would never get anywhere near the funding I come with from three different sources for <u>at least</u> 2 years!
    This is something I WILL NEVER place on my application forms.
     
  15. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    Why not?
    I know of some HT's who may well be interested in what you have to offer.
    Not being critical in any way, but it does seem that the full picture is only now emerging and some of your earlier postings were a little bit economical with the truth.
    Suggest you do get more skilled in sequencing and find a local 6th form centre where you could volunteer to help with music technology in order to gain more experience.
    Sorry not to be more helpful.
    Good luck.
     
  16. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    What do you mean by being economical with the truth? I am a qualified music teacher with QTS, Master in Music and Licentiates etc to prove it and I have got experience of teaching Music Tech but only to KS3. So a school could get me, a qualified teacher who knows what she's doing and loads of funding (but only if I applied for it!)
    And no, I will NEVER tell HTs how much money I would come with because I could imagine the pupils of the business manager's eyes turning into pound signs when they were given the figures from my THREE sources of funding. They would probably only employ me because I was disabled and came with LOADS of cash not because of what I could offer children and I can offer quite a lot. I don't really think it would lead to sustainable employment after the funding ceased and would hate to go through all this again.
     
  17. bod99

    bod99 New commenter

    Why on earth would your funding make a difference either way? Surely it is there to provide support for YOU not for the children/department. Your THREE sources of income and LOADS of cash are not going to be spent on resources for them are they? If your funding CAN be used for the department, then surely anyone should be able to apply for them, not just someone with disabilities.

     
  18. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    It just goes to show, nobody in Education can understand funding for qualified disabled teachers. I remember when I told my final placement school, they would not believe it. They told me it did not exist. I had to get my funders to call them. What is it with schools?
     
  19. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Just goes to show how little is known about funding for disabled teachers in schools and what it covers and it's not for me to spill the beans. The government paid an obscene amount for my PGCE training and I really would like to give a return back to the State for it's investment and I don't feel that I will ever be allowed to in this profession. Yes the funding can be used in a manner the school wants but only if I apply for it. It comes with ME. No you can't get it unless you have ME. Unless you employ disabled teachers with certain criteria, you will never know about these things. Some disabled teachers don't even know about these things. I find it ironic that the reason why we are not employed, i.e. fear we will be off sick all the time, a burden to other stafff, unable to hack it, and cost loads in supply cover costs, is the reason schools will never get to know about the funding they could do with.
    It is important for disabled people to find employment in an environment where we are respected and I really sense, my funding would be of more interest to schools than what I have to offer, hence I have the intelligence not to mention it and NEVER will.
     
  20. To be honest this sounds like positive discrimination.
     

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