Integrated Arts- Week 7

This week’s classes included: assignment writing, music resources and lesson planning, and primary dance.

Our first workshop focussed on the assignments for the module, specifically the lesson plan and referencing. I found looking at the lesson plan structure really helpful because it has been a long time since professionally planning for placement. I also feel more confident regarding referencing because the points made by Julie reassured me that I was approaching it in the right way.

The Music workshop followed on from this by allowing us to consider Experiences and Outcomes, and Benchmarks that could be used alongside different resources. My group focussed on this resource from Music Express (MacGregor and Hanke, 2002) focusing on Early Level:

The Experience we matched to this was:

“I have the freedom to use my voice, musical instruments and music technology to discover and enjoy playing with sound and rhythm. EXA 0-17a” (p7, Education Scotland, 2017)

And the Benchmarks we chose were:

  • “Participates actively and uses his/her voice in singing activities from a range of styles and cultures, for example, nursery rhymes and songs with actions.”
  • “uses voice to explore sound and rhythm, for example, hums, whispers, sings;
  • chooses different musical instruments to play such as chime bar, drum or body percussion, exploring sound and rhythm by, for example, clapping, tapping;”(p7, Education Scotland, 2017)

I found this exercise helpful in the sense that it reminded me of the lesson planning process and made me feel more confident in my own ability. I have previously developed these skills on placement, and in classes; however, I know further development will be needed for more self-assured teaching.

I found the dance workshop really fun and interesting, particularly because I have more experience in dance having worked towards my National 5 qualification as well as taking dance classes outside school up until my final year. The workshop began by considering how we can warm up a class and why this is important to prevent injuries. The lecturer, Zara, also pointed out how this could be connected to SHANARRI and Biology. My favourite warmup was the ‘giant knot’ because this will get children’s brains working as well as their bodies. This could also be a useful tool in a drama class to get learners communicating with each other in groups. I also think that the learners would enjoy an activity like this if they were working in groups they chose, and this could help build enthusiasm. Following on from the warm-ups, we looked at the ten basic dance skills from Curriculum for Excellence:

  1. Balance
  2. Gesture
  3. Hop
  4. Jump
  5. Kick
  6. Reach
  7. Roll
  8. Slide
  9. Turn
  10. Twist

In small groups, we used these movement concepts to create a short dance sequence. This would be a really effective exercise in a class for any age and could be easily adapted. For example, in early years fewer movements may be done for a longer period of time and for older years they may be asked to add more complex movements or use counts of eight when devising. In future, it will be advantageous for me to have this prior knowledge when approaching dance in the curriculum. I will be interested in experimenting with the various links to other areas of the curriculum as well.

MacGregor, H. and Hanke, M. (2002). Music Express Year 1. London: A & C Black, p. 16.

Benchmarks: Expressive Arts (2017). Education Scotland, p. 7. Available at: (Accessed: 24 November 2020).

Integrated Arts-Weeks 5&6

During the past two weeks, we have had classes focussing on Music and ICT; Music Resources; and Visual Arts.

In Music and ICT, we explored the use of Garage band and using online resources for different teaching methods. I found both of these lessons interesting and helpful because I had not known about many of the ways to utilise Garageband with a class or the hundreds of educational resources available online. Although I have used Garageband in the past as part of my own school experience, I have little to no experience in using it in a teaching context. I would like to try it out, if possible, on placement to get a feel for it as a teaching tool. I think it would be a great way to make learning interactive where a smartboard could be used or learners could record their voices or make sounds. To prepare for potentially using it in a lesson, I will become more familiar with the software on my laptop and phone. In regards to using the internet in teaching, the resources suggested during the second Music and ICT input and the Music Resources input were extremely helpful in allowing me to begin to think about the structure of lessons. I particularly liked the suggested use of different warm-up videos containing voice and body percussion exercises.

This particular company (Beat Goes On) has a range of videos and books that can assist in teaching a class. As someone who is not particularly gifted in music, I find this kind of rhythmic exploration a lot more appealing and learners can still meet benchmark expectations.

Further resources we were directed to included:


All of which provide short and long activities for learners of all ages. In the classroom, I would make use of a mixture of these resources to give a variety of learning experiences.

We also had an input on Visual Arts from Diarmuid, during which we were encouraged to create our own painting. The activity we did felt familiar to me because I had the chance to take Advanced Higher Art at school during which we did lots of experimentation with materials and mark-making tools. The first task we had was to make a brush out of materials we wouldn’t normally use. ( I chose to use string, card and tissue paper)

We then had to paint a scene described by Diarmuid:

  • Landscape
  • 1 third sky, 2 thirds land
  • The sky is pink/red with lots of white
  • Midground holds and blue-grey loch to the left and on the right, there is a rocky, harsh mountain edge
  • Foreground holds green hill landscape, variety of greens.

I started by sketching an outline of the landscape.

I then began filling in the areas of green using the tools made from string.

I then used the strips of card to add in the water and mountain.

To finish, as I didn’t have any white paint to blend into the sky, I used the tissue paper to dab on the paint.

When working through this activity with a class, children should feel safe and secure so they are free to create and experiment. A key component of this is ensuring students have their own paint and apron so they won’t be concerned about mess. I feel fairly secure in my subject knowledge of Art due to my past experiences, however I would like to further practice using similar techniques.

Integrated Arts- Week 4

This week we looked at how to effectively use graphic scores with Julie and shadow puppets with Angela.

I really enjoyed this week’s music workshop and found it really helpful in beginning to consider lessons and teaching methods that I could use. I found the group tasks really interesting as well, and I can see how the activities could be used with any age group. We first looked at using shapes to create rhythms, linking our learning to last week, Then moved on to considering the use of different words and images that the learners may relate to. This was followed by a task using minibeast names to create a 16 beat rhythm.

In this grid, each box is one beat, and each star shows a sound being made.

Following on from this activity, we began looking at Figure Notes and how this resource can be used for all ages. The basic principle of figure notes is that each colour is a tone or note (and each octave is a shape where that applies to the instrument), and the system can be used on a variety of instruments, with free guides on their website. 

As a future teacher, Figure Notes is a resource that I think I will find helpful in learning and teaching music. As a more visual learner, matching colours to keys or strings feels more achievable for me than reading sheet music.

Continuing on from Figure Notes, we spent some time looking at graphic scores. We composed as a group a short score inspired by a fireworks display. The whole sound is around 16 beats, but I chose not to break up the bars. I also spent some time on garage band recreating the score.

To improve my teaching abilities in music, I would like to continue to practice using Garage band because it is an extremely accessible resource. I am also interested in learning more about Graphic scores and how they can be used in the classroom.

In Drama, we focussed on shadow puppets and how they can be used across the curriculum. I found this workshop really helpful because it gave me a new perspective on how drama techniques can be used to support learners who may struggle academically or be lacking in confidence. In ‘ Reading in the Shadows: Extending Literacy Skills Through Shadow-Puppet Theatre’, Peck and Virkler (2006) highlight that effective use of shadow puppets can result in an improvement in literacy skills. When engaging in a project involving shadow puppetry as a final product, learners have endless opportunities to build literacy and creativity skills. In groups, we were allowed to create an idea for a short show with shadow puppets we had prepared for the workshop. In my group we had a fish, a cow, a cat and a spider.

Just as a group in a primary class would, we had to negotiate a story that incorporated our characters and communicate ideas that we thought worked well. Creatively, we had to decide on the setting and different character traits and a setting as well as a storyline. In practice, this would take children longer however, they would be building the same skills that we were.


Peck, S. and Virkler, A. (2006) “Reading in the Shadows: Extending Literacy Skills Through Shadow-Puppet Theater”, The Reading Teacher, 59(8), pp. 786-795. doi: 10.1598/rt.59.8.6.

Integrated Arts- Week 3

This week’s inputs focussed on music and drama. Our lecture focussed on “Why Music Matters”, in this lecture Julie highlighted the benefits music education has on attainment across education. I found this lecture really and helpful to my own development as it allowed me to consider different ways music can be used across the curriculum. Learners will tend to respond well to the use of music in other subjects because it provides a fun variety in their learning. Julie highlighted a really interesting TED talk by Anita Collins (2019). In this talk, Collins highlights the benefits to society that can occur as a result of early Music Education.

This video highlighted how children respond to music education terms of attainment in other subjects and later, quality of life. In my future development, I would like to learn more about how Music Education can benefit learners in different ways.

Our Drama Workshop with Angela followed on from last weeks lesson on freezeframes, we looked further at different teaching and learning techniques. Initially, we reflected on how we could make use of the story “Drums of Noto Hanto” by J Alison James.

I found this workshop really helpful because it gave me new ideas for how to pick out places to make into freeze frames. Angela highlighted the importance of process over the final result. When considering future practice, I would like to make use of Drama across the curriculum to engage learners. To improve my teaching, I want to have more practice using Teacher in role as a technique. If I can build my confidence in this area, then my teaching asa whole will improve.

In our music workshop, entitles “pulse and rhythm” we looked at lesson plans that support the learning outcomes EXA 1-17a and EXA 1-18a, and EXA 2-17a and EXA 2-18a. (CfE, 2006)

The workshop comprised of working through two lesson plans that supported the learning outcomes from the Curriculum for Excellence and had a focus on finding and playing different beats and rhythms. I enjoyed these lessons and felt that I could confidently teach them because I have a reasonable sense of rhythm and I was able to find the beat. I also enjoyed seeing the different examples of how to compose scores of different levels of notation. To develop further, I would like to learn some basic tunes that I could use on placement or in the future.


Integrated Arts- Week 2

This week the lecture focussed on the role of schools in creativity while the Drama workshop looked at Freeze-Frames and in Music, we learned about using Charanga effectively as a teaching tool.

I found the initial lecture especially interesting because it led me to reflect on my own school experience and how that has built and shaped my creative abilities as an individual. I had numerous opportunities in creativity both in Primary and Secondary school and I felt, for the majority of the time, I was supported in my ideas. When working with children, I understand the importance of showing their work is valued and taking care to encourage each child to build their skills. As a future teacher, I hope to encourage and support creativity in my classroom daily, with an emphasis on art and learning through play. To support my future practice, I would like to experiment with teaching with creativity on placement.

This Ted Talk from Sir Ken Robinson looks out how schools can kill creativity.

The Freeze-Frame workshop certainly sparked a few memories of National 5 Drama for me (in which I was not particularly successful). Something that I learned more about was thought tracking, I have experienced it before in drama lessons, however, I had never considered it as a concept in its own right, with its own importance. I found the Freeze Frame exercise on the painting depicting the Highland Clearances to be particularly helpful in building my understanding of the purpose of thought tracking. If a child was asked to do the same task, it would deepen their understanding of the period of time, types of people and surrounding actions. As a future teacher, this workshop allowed me to explore Freeze-Frames from a new perspective which will aid my future lessons. To deepen my understanding of the uses of freeze frames I intend to pursue further reading and find suggested activities online.


Robinson, S., 2020. Transcript Of “Do Schools Kill Creativity?”. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 13 October 2020].


Integrated Arts- Week 1

This week in Integrated Arts, we had the opportunity to begin exploring drama and music via Zoom.

Our Drama session with Angela provided insight into many ways to incorporate drama into the curriculum. Some suggestion included: History, Literacy, Mathematics and Music. I found it especially interesting that warm-up exercises could be used to form a link between so many different subjects. Making shapes as a group, in particular, can allow exploration of almost any subject and transition easily into a full drama lesson. As well as providing a simple flow for the teacher to follow, children will enjoy the creativity behind this activity and the possible chance to work with friends. The example used in the lecture was a warm-up for “Jack and the Beanstalk” followed by a full lesson following the story (suitable for First Level). The warm-up involved making shapes which gradually began to relate to the story.

Jack and The Beanstalk: Christmas Panto | Live Family @ Lancaster Grand Theatre

Learners would then begin to think about how characters feel at different points in the story. As Prendiville (2003) says, ” Educational drama is not acting out the narrative of a story. It is about exploring key moments, key characters and their dilemmas.” This type of lesson plan is ideal for any age and could be easily adapted to fit different available spaces.



In our introductory music lecture, the focus was more on the different ways music can be explored and the variety of benefits that it can have for learners. The lesson highlighted that although it may help, you don’t need to be musically gifted to teach music effectively. As long as we focus on listening, performing and composing, learners will find enjoyment and feel achievement in classes. On placement, I benefitted from sitting in on a primary 2 music class once a week with a specialised teacher.

Graphic Scores – Traditional Primary Music

A key aspect I found interesting in their learning was the progression the teacher used from presenting graphic scores to the class to allowing them to make their own and finally recording their work and hearing it back. It was clear the class thoroughly enjoyed this activity and were excited to tell their class teacher about it.



Toye, N. and Prendiville, F., 2003. Drama And Traditional Story For The Early Years. London: Routledge.

Holmes-Rahe life stress inventory

In the Holmes-Rahe life stress inventory, I scored 167 out of 1466 putting me at the lower end of the 150-300 point category. This took into account my recent life changes including a new school (university), moving and living in a new home. Another factor which was not taken into account was the fact that I have moved away from my family for the first time (as most of my relatives reside along the East coast and I now primarily live in Ayr). This is a significant point because this means I have less time with a significant support network. As well as moving away from family and friends, I have moved to an area where I had never visited before and I did not have any connection with. This could add to stress because a lot more of my daily life had to be done independently. I could no longer call a friend to join me going into town or the cinema because I did not know anyone. The 150-300 points category predicts a 50% chance of a major health breakdown in the next two years. My general health at present is good and in the next year I do not plan on any other significant life changes however in the following years I intend moving again and there is a possibility of taking out a loan or mortgage to support this. This could mean that in the next few years my stress levels could go up and my chance of illness could increase. To combat stress in my life I will continue getting support from friends and family where possible and organise my financial affairs.


‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’, in Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. 5th ed. London: Routledge

The main theme of this particular chapter was the use of questioning in communication, the chapter aims to elaborate on the science behind both basic and strategic questioning and why we use it in communication. Throughout, it discussed verbal and non-verbal messaging, questions in different contexts and the different uses of questioning (in a classroom, in court and so on).

Hargie makes the claim that children ask questions during their development and to support this, parents should do their best to respond to these questions (Cook, 2009). I agree with this statement because children will then build curiosity and feel listened to and important.

Hargie also makes a reference to Rudyard Kipling’s question classification of what, why, when, how, where and who. This reflects the information that someone would be looking to gain from and answer rather than how they present the question itself. Towards the end of the chapter, he lists Dillon’s (1990) possible answers to all questions. He acknowledges that respondent may choose not to answer using silence, refusal, changing the subject or use of humour. Dillon also suggests that the answer may be skewed by the respondent by lying, stalling, evading, withholding, answering the ‘real’ question or distortion. They also say that the last option is that the respondent will answer directly.

I personally disagree with the use of probing and persistent questioning used in Box 5.3 (pg 142) against a young child. The questioning technique used distresses the child and the question instead goes un-answered.

Communication in Other Environments

Group and Leadership

  • Within our group, there was no distinct leader.
  • We all co-operated to ensure everyone was participating by collecting materials .
  • The only challenge we faced as a group was making sure everyone had something to do and did not feel excluded. In some cases people assigned themselves more work than was necessary leaving others with nothing to do.


  • The group the explained to us were very clear and concise in their explanation.
  • It was made clear through descriptive words and pointing to the areas they spoke about.


  • Because we were outside, our communication was changed. To ensure we could be heard by the whole group we spoke closer together and used gesture to show the areas we were discussing.
  • In a classroom environment communication would be much more formal compared to todays experience. When communicating with pupils the register used would also be different compared to that used with our peers.
  • I did not find it especially challenging to speak above the sounds in the environment because the whole group stayed close together.
  • When communicating distraction was more likely because other groups were moving around the area and asking questions. This could be overcome by bringing the group closer or moving to a quieter area


  • Our negotiations were unsuccessful because other groups did not want the materials we were offering.
  • This was challenging because there is not much we could do to change what the groups needed.