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to want to improve the extra curricular music provision at our local primary school?

(37 Posts)
thedolly Fri 02-Oct-09 14:22:35

At the moment it is virtually non existent. They don't even have peripatetic music teachers.

Is there anything I can do as a parent with 3 children about to enter the school (2 now and 1 later)?

HKT Fri 02-Oct-09 14:25:49

If no-one starts the ball rolling, it'll never happen - talk to the school, and suggest they look into it

PeedOffWithNits Fri 02-Oct-09 14:30:50

they must have a teacher "in charge of music" - ask to see them, offer to help them run a choir or teach recorder group or something (I am assuming you are musical yourself)

thedolly Fri 02-Oct-09 14:41:29

The school is 5-9 and no one there atm plays an instrument (or if they do they do it out of school).

The Head is really into Art and so both the curricular and extra curricular provision for Art is amazing. There doesn't seem to be anyone with the same enthusiasm for music although the Head does not seem to be averse to new ideas and offers of help. I am just not sure of the best way to go about helping.

Unfortunately I am not musical but I would like my DCs to learn to play an instrument (providing they are interested) and have the opportunity to play/perform at school.

MintyCane Fri 02-Oct-09 14:51:16

Maybe loads of them play out of school have you asked yet ?

thedolly Fri 02-Oct-09 14:58:53

I did ask the Head and she said that they used to have a boy who played guitar and they were happy for him to perform in assemblies etc.

katiestar Fri 02-Oct-09 15:02:05

Ring up the county music service and see how many pupils they have to have to send out a teacher.They often have a playing week when they will go round schools and play instruments to try and drum up business (no pun intended) Ask the HT to put an announcement in the newsletter to see if anyone alse is interested in playing an instrument and take it from there.

thedolly Fri 02-Oct-09 15:05:44

Thanks for the suggestions katiestar. Do you know what the price of music lessons are via the county music service? Are they the same price as private music lessons or cheaper I wonder?

MintyCane Fri 02-Oct-09 15:49:56

We pay £70 a term for violin 20 min lesson once per week.

pofacedandproud Fri 02-Oct-09 15:53:02

we have this problem too. I'd like to offer to run a choir but my piano accompanying skills are very rusty. It is a great shame so many primaries have no music teaching at all.

Bathsheba Fri 02-Oct-09 15:57:35

I'm sorry, I read that as "lessons via the Country Music Service" and I just had pictures of people in neckerchiefs going around teaching children how to play Jolene and things...

I'd pay good money for that..

thedolly Fri 02-Oct-09 18:17:53

grin Bathsheba

Good news from the county music service....there are group strings lessons offered for primary school children after school at a local middle school for the modest sum of £42 per term shock.

Fingers crossed that there are some spaces left.

pofacedandproud have you contacted yours?

pofacedandproud Fri 02-Oct-09 18:57:33

no dolly, i haven't. It is group singing I am really keen on at the primary stage - wonder if I should ask?

Feenie Fri 02-Oct-09 18:59:48

Group singing is part of the curriculum.

toomanyprojects Fri 02-Oct-09 19:02:05

We are in Northamptonshire - through County all lessons are £55 per term except recorder which is £33. The loan on the instrument is usually free which is just as well as you pay extra once they join the school orchestra and with two DC at the primary school it's not cheap.

grownupbabes Fri 02-Oct-09 19:04:39

What county are you? It is different in every county BUT... under the new Wider Opportunities scheme, which is a national, not county initiative, there should be music provision in EVERY primary school. How the County Music Service delivers it varies from county to county, but it is likely to be at yr 3 or 5 level and involve free class instrumental or vocal teaching. They can also provide other types of music instruction.
I am a peripatetic music teacher with a county music service so if you want more info, do post again.

funtimewincies Fri 02-Oct-09 19:05:46

Ask who the music co-ordinator is. They're under no obligation to run choirs and stuff after school (although many do) but they have a responsibility to answer your questions about music provision.

The excuse 'we don't have anyone who plays an instrument' is not valid. Of course they don't, if they don't help provide music tuition in school time. It doesn't mean that parents and children wouldn't be interested.

As HKT says, someone has to start the ball rolling and don't be bulldozed by Heads and their pet subjects. They're there to provide for the children, not to indulge their own hobbies (sorry, bit of a bugbear of mine blush).

MumofJTM Fri 02-Oct-09 21:50:14

Lots of first and primary schools have access to "Wider Opportunities" prgrammes via county music service. This involves whole classes all learning instruments like flute, clarinet, violin etc together free, with instruments provided, and then the option to take them further after one year. My experience is that these classes are offered to year 4 (in Dorset) but may vary elsewhere. Might be worth mentioning to the school?

Good luck - I am a music teacher in a middle school and have music clubs every day for kids and they love it.

trickerg Fri 02-Oct-09 22:57:27

pofacedandproud - go for your choir - try Singing Sherlock to start - excellent books with CDs. CDs have tracks instruments+singing and instrumental. Songs are active, encourage different uses of voice and are really fun!

You'll probably need a few warming up activities as well.

trickerg Fri 02-Oct-09 22:59:56

'' What county are you? It is different in every county BUT... under the new Wider Opportunities scheme, which is a national, not county initiative, there should be music provision in EVERY primary school. ''

Love this, grownupbabes. Our county charges £2000+ p.a. for this!! (And for whole class violin, I'd be saying £2000+++!!)

pofacedandproud Fri 02-Oct-09 23:27:51

no group singing in ds's class Feenie. Thanks trickerg, that is interesting. Would by pass the need for accompaniment though nothing is as good as a real piano.

paranoiabigdestroyer Fri 02-Oct-09 23:34:57

I'm hopeless at links - sorry not going to try at this time of night - but my son is learning the trumpet through the Music For Schools Foundation it's a bit like the county peri service and has been really good, reasonable prices and well organised and I expect quite easy for the school to work with. Only brass and wind instruments though.

secretskillrelationships Fri 02-Oct-09 23:48:01

Music provision in my children's school was not good and the children did not enjoy music. The head's attitude was 'we've always had a problem with music' as if that explained it. So I ended up helping out for a few lessons and became the school music teacher.

I am not a teacher or a musician but was lucky to be supported by a brilliant music teacher who taught my youngest child. Through him I discovered the Kodaly approach which uses the human voice (no instruments, though I do use percussion). I had singing lessons to improve my pitch and raise it to match the children.

The results were really good - children engaged well with the lessons, the singing improved dramatically and, most importantly of all, the children enjoyed singing together.

There is also a new programme called Jolly Music (produced by the same people who do Jolly Phonics) which provides lesson plans, CDs etc and is aimed at the non-specialist and designed to be easy to use within the classroom.

IMHO it is really important for children to understand the basics of music before they start an instrument.

secretskillrelationships Fri 02-Oct-09 23:49:42

Oh, and music is part of the National Curriculum!

pofacedandproud Sat 03-Oct-09 10:36:06

Kodaly sounds interesting, I've heard about before, will look into it. Do they pay you secretskills? grin

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