‘Are You the Amazing Music Teacher We’ve Heard About?’ – Rethinking Outstanding
ABOUT THIS COURSE
Led by Alex Aitken, this new course for Autumn 2023 is designed around a single objective: rethinking what outstanding music teaching is, and what such outstanding music teaching and leadership in a music department looks like. The course is packed full of useful information, knowledge and ideas, backed up by the latest research, thinking and developments in music pedagogy, and promises to be a whistle-stop tour of everything that goes into making a music department, and an individual music teacher, shine.
BENEFITS OF ATTENDING
A thorough day of CPD on all things music, complete with important discussions on many of the current issues in music education.
Expert guidance from one of the UK’s leading educationalists, who is also an A-level examiner, former Head of Music, and the author of one of the top A-level resources in the UK: www. masteringalevelmusic.co.uk.
Raise academic standards through a deeper understanding of outstanding curriculum design and teaching approaches, and be challenged with new ideas and philosophies, regardless of your experience.
The chance to discuss anything to do with teaching music, both with colleagues, and with Alex.
‘I Teach Music’ vs. ‘I Musically Teach’
10.00 – 10.45am
Halcyon days: the problems with defining your teaching by your own experience of Music at school.
Old vs. new qualifications: square pegs, round holes and increasingly large hammers.
The current state of music education; summarising the NPME, and the latest thinking from various important reports, articles and individuals.
The need for change: tackling uptake and appreciation of Music, and promoting STEAM.
How musical is our teaching?
Priorities – Efficiency, Happiness, Presence, Headroom and Character
10.45 – 11.35pm
Keeping up appearances: preventing burnout, reducing marking, and doing more whilst working less.
Department social media accounts, school presence, concert promotion and marketing.
`I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way’: playing nicely with sport, drama and SLT.
Just keep swimming: which actions should become habits? Which habits define character?
Working deeper: how our friends in the psychology department can make our lives easier.
The music department environment; how flying ET bicycles, space and time can help.
Bike wheels, plates and pendulums: thinking outside the box, and daring to be different.
Mind your head: creating headspace to avoid bumps.
11.35 – 11.45am
Curriculum Design, Budgets and Department Development Plans
11.45 – 12.45pm
A blank page or canvas. The challenge: bring order to the whole.
(Curriculum) Design, composition, tension, balance, light, and harmony.
Reinventing the wheel, or going round in circles? Summarising current developments in music pedagogy.
Development Plans: clearing space for thoughts to becoming words, and for words to become actions.
Money Money Money: budgets and winning over the three-headed dog in the finance department.
Snowballs, carrots, sticks and stones: departmental momentum, pride and building something impressive.
The Winner Takes It All: celebrating what we do, and implementing an inspiring super-curriculum.
12.45 – 1.00pm
Bees and honeypots: what to bear in mind when creating a hive of activity and producing something of value.
The broad brushstrokes of excellence; fearlessly painting without numbers, and paint pots vs. canvases.
Engagement, uptake, outreach, efficiency and outward-facing excellence: problems and solutions.
Happy feet / I’ll be back: getting more people into the department.
1.00 – 1.45pm
The Student Experience
1.45 – 3.15pm
Cultivating curiosity and developing musicianship: the role of environment, questioning and research.
Three magic words: ‘great, but why’. Five more magic words: thinking, feeling, doing, saying and learning.
Ways of providing a rich, holistic, inspiring, wide and engaging curriculum and musical experience. l Outreach: primary schools, student ambassadors, singing, mentoring, coaching and collaborating.
P.S. I also do GCSE/A-level Music: tackling uptake, and dropping back onto the specifications.
Extra, extra, read all about it: clubs, societies, trips and tours. Making an offer they can’t refuse.
Here’s looking at you, kid: rewarding, recognising and championing student excellence.
Off with the heads: involving and embracing SLT, and why we often need to teach them as well.
Musical theatre, opera, gigs, concerts and films: appreciation vs. preference, and changing habits.
Appraising and Listening
3.30 – 5.00pm
Developing students’ listening skills and general knowledge of music.
Summary of examiner reports across all specifications since 2016; common errors and patterns.
Strategies for teaching analysis and dictation, and for helping weaker or underconfident students.
The thinking behind set works, other music and contextual integration.
Essays – demonstrating a genuine understanding to the examiner, regardless of specification.
Ingredients of outstanding papers; pushing the top students even more.
Cultivating curiosity, and a love of unfamiliar music.
Flight paths and curriculum design for two years of A-level study.
Alexander Aitken is now one of the UK’s leading educationalists for Music, and is the author of www.masteringalevelmusic. co.uk, which is used worldwide. An A-level examiner and former
Head of Music, he also was part of Edexcel’s GCSE Music textbook team, having written the analysis of Defying Gravity. He continues to maintain a slightly-too-busy schedule as a Musical
Director, pianist and teacher, having most recently been the Children’s Musical Director and Cover Conductor on Cameron Mackintosh’s London production of Mary Poppins
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Teachers of Music, both new and experienced.
New Directors of Music
Heads of Department wanting to overhaul their Music curriculum to be richer and more inspiring.
Heads of Faculties overseeing Music, or Senior Leadership Team members new to managing Music departments.
THIS COURSE INCLUDES
A Specially prepared notes, practical advice and guidance by the course leader