I’m really lucky that I work in a school with an amazing Principal. This person has been incredible during this time – they have carefully looked after their teachers – supporting, shielding, guiding, laughing and leading. I have been one of those people who have been looked after here too, by this particular person.
This Principal wanted music to keep going face-to-face, safely for everyone, for as long as I was comfortable. They went out of their way to check that I was happy and comfortable, and allowed to teach as I saw best. I was hugely grateful that I was respected through all this – and I did my utmost to be the best possible music teacher, and continue to do so.
It’s pretty exhausting – but hugely, hugely rewarding. This is what I’ve noticed over the last little while….
Children and staff have been anxious. There have been some weird things going on – tears, tantrums, kids who stutter are doing this more. Teachers have been really ‘in their heads’ as they juggle on-line learning, dealing with parents, teaching kids who show up to school. And people – everyone – big or small, have responded incredibly well in music.
I’ve done a lot of really active lessons – lots of drumming, hitting things, body percussion, singing up-beat stuff with big actions.
Lessons seem to go like this. For 6- 7 minutes (sometimes longer), most people in the class have been really passive. Very quiet. Very inward. And then something happens. It reminds me of watching one of those Chinese tea balls opening up in hot water. Petals open. People relax. Smiles start to happen.
Then I can really teach.
And then it just spirals – kids start to laugh. Mistakes happen and giggles happen. Teachers grin. Things get louder. And it keeps happening.
And again I am reminded of the power of music. Of all creating something together. The magic of it. I realise how important this all is – especially now.