So on Thursday, I was teaching at a school. Last lesson was a year five class, and I haven’t taught them for very long. From what I can gather, they haven’t had great music tuition, and are pretty disengaged with the whole music ‘thing’. Any music teacher will tell you that engaging disengaged kids in upper primary is fairly challenging. Actually, having written that, it’s probably fair to write that about any subject…. I’ve only experienced it with music, though.
But back to me and year five. A young boy drooped in and flopped down on the floor. He didn’t want to be there. He looked hot and over it. I started the lesson. I’m teaching them some drumming – not with djembe drums, but with drum sticks – and they’ll be drumming on upturned chairs. About five minutes into class, something happened to this kid. He stopped drooping and sat up. Then he started trying. Then he started succeeding. This was noted by both me and his very switched-on teacher. In the space of ten minutes, he had gone from doing nothing much to being the best drummer in the class. He looked really coordinated. He sat properly. He even smiled – a little smile, but a smile.
‘Have you done any drumming before?’ I asked. ‘Nope.’
‘Do you like this?’ ‘Yep.’
Total turn-around. He was engaged for the rest of the lesson.
I think I need to find him an electric drum kit and a teacher….