Published on 24/03/20
As the school moves into a period of remote teaching and learning, the visiting instrumental and singing teachers are fully on board with our plans, and many lessons have already taken place via Google Meet.
Around 400 instrumental and singing lessons are taught each week, and huge numbers of students take part in our choirs, bands, orchestras and chamber music groups; it is essential that this vital aspect of school life is not neglected so that we can continue with our exciting programme of concerts and events as soon as school re-opens. For the students themselves, we want to ensure as little disruption as possible to their music learning. Regular lessons and home practice remain as critical now as ever; without them, bad habits can creep in and motivation will start to wane.
Our piano teacher Charlie Penn-Jones (pictured above) has been one of the first to try out teaching via Google Meet. He comments: ‘It was surprisingly easy to get used to and we quickly started progressing in a similar way to a face to face session. As we (teachers and students) evaluate and learn from these early experiences I think our techniques and approaches will develop and adapt to make the best possible use of the opportunity to keep working together’.
In helping our music teachers make the transition to remote teaching I have enjoyed observing online piano and violin lessons this week - the technology works well, and with the students working from home there should be no excuses for being late to lessons or forgetting instruments! As a music department, in addition to teaching our normal classes remotely, we will continue to support the work of the instrumental and singing teachers. Theory classes should take place with little disruption, and we hope to showcase the Years 7 - 9 Soloists’ Concert which was planned shortly after Easter in a virtual format! We are confident that when our young musicians return to school they will be in a strong position to continue where we left off.
Matthew Rudd, Director of Music.