Tag Archives: Music

Session 11 – 6/12/11

Todays lecture was focussed on using alternative approaches to art education. Specifically concentrating on Room 13 which is an art studio in a school where children are permitted to lead their own learning and let their imagination run free while creating their artwork with a teacher there only for assistance when needed. We were shown a video explaining what Room 13 is and hearing the pupils opinions on the initiative and how it had benefitted them. This was very insightful as it showed the positive impact that allowing children to be creative has on them.


In todays art class we were continuing to consider room 13. Again, we discussed the benefits this project has on children such as increased independence and confidence in their ability to produce art. We were shown various pieces of work that has came from room 13 and analysed them thinking about the inspiration behind them etc.

I think that the room 13 project is very beneficial and something I will continue to consider.



Today we were introduced to the use of figure notes. This is when sheet music with musical notes is replaced by colours and shapes representing a note. Using this resulted in it being far easier to play a musical piece as the barrier of being able to read the music notes was removed. This showed how music can be taught in a simpler form for those who would struggle reading sheet music and provides quicker results for them and increasing their confidence with their ability to play music.

We had the opportunity to use figure notes for ourselves by playing tunes such as jingle bells and twinkle twinkle on the keyboard, glockenspiel and guitar.

I think figure notes is very useful and I will definitely use it throughout my career.


Session 10 – 29/11/16

Today we had inputs of Music and Drama.


Today we were learning the basics of how to play the ukelele.


We learned the main 4 chords to play on a ukelele which was useful as this is what most songs are made up of which is highlighted by the song ‘4 Chords’ by the Axis of Awesome. This was a really fun lesson as we had the chance to practice the basic skills we had picked up by playing along to the song ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham. It was very useful as the ukelele is becoming a popular instrument within primary schools and something we will most likely encounter throughout our careers.



Today we continued with the other half of the class’s micro teaching of their particular children’s book.


This week it was my groups turn to deliver the lesson. The book we chose to use was ‘A squash and a squeeze’.


We read this story to the class and used the drama conventions role in the wall and thought tunnel. This was good to gain the experience of how to deliver a drama lesson and understand what would go well and what would require improvement. It was helpful in increasing my confidence in teaching drama.

Session 9 – 15/11/16

Today we had inputs on Art and Music.


In todays class we were introduced to the painting entitled ‘Windows in the West’ by Avril Paton. Considering this piece of artwork we were prompted to develop our analytical thinking into the story behind it. See below the video describing the painting in fuller detail:

We were given a copy of this painting and bits of polystyrene and told to choose a segment of the painting to draw ourselves. Once completing this we covered the polystyrene in green paint and printed it onto a piece of red paper. This was useful as it showed a different activity to do with children and one that will encourage them to remember famous pieces of art work by creating their own representation of the piece.



Today we were exploring the musical online resource ‘Charanga’ – http://www.charangascotland.co.uk/site/

This is an amazing resource as it is full of fun ways to teach music. We were looking at all of the sites different features and trying out the various activities. This was very beneficial as it gave us inspiration on what we could use with our own classes in the future and something i will definitely use more of in the next few years.

Session 8 – 8/11/16

Today there was no lecture so we went straight to our inputs of drama and music.


Today half of the class, in groups, delivered a drama lesson. Each group had chosen a different children’s story to teach drama from. The groups would read the story or give a brief summary of it and then go on to getting us to participate in many different drama conventions such as thought tunnels or role in the wall


This was a useful task as it allowed us to reflect on what went well and what could be improved on each of the groups lessons. It was good to see the different approach each group took also. Being in the situation of the pupil being taught it allowed me to understand how the pupil would think and feel which was also very beneficial.


Today we were in the mac lab of the university using ‘Garage Band’. This software allowed us to create our own pieces adding in different instruments and beats. We could adjust the timing, pitch etc to create our own unique tracks. This is useful as it would allow children to express their creativity and find enjoyment through creating their own track and experiment by adding different sounds together and hearing how they can fit together, be in time and be altered.


This is a great tool to use as the use of technology is rapidly increasing and this gives way for it to be incorporated into the classroom. The children would find it relevant and would create a more effective learning experience for them. It is a great way to integrate ICT and music.

We then had a plenary focussing on the Sue Hallam article ‘The power of music’. We reflected on our thoughts and created mind maps which we then presented to the class.


Session 7 – 1/11/16

In todays lecture we were focussing on why music matters. Through this we were encouraged to consider our own musical experiences, how we can participate with music, how we discover music, our musical awareness and the power of music. All of these things have strong links in the curriculum relating to the experiences and outcomes. It was good to think about these things and reflect on how music is a powerful thing in each of our lives. This would be important for children to consider to realise why music matters and allow them to be more interested in it as a subject and become fully engaged.


Today we were fortunate to have children from the Greenmill Primary School string project visiting us. The children displayed their talent by playing us one of their musical pieces. They then went on to show us some of the musical games they often play. We then had the chance to sit with some of the pupils as they taught us about their musical instruments. The pupil i was with played the violin, she described to me what the different parts of the violin were called and what there purpose was, she showed me how to correctly hold the violin and gave me the opportunity to give it a go myself.

Being taught by the children was good as it gave us the opportunity to see how much they have learned and how passionate they are about music. It was amazing to see how being part of the orchestra had brought to many benefits to these children due to being part of a team they were all very polite, well behaved and friendly and truly did show the impact music can have.

It was insightful to see this type of thing happening in schools and show us what we could help to initiate in our own schools in the future.


Today we continued on with the story of the dragon focussing on hot seating and improvisation considering how these conventions would would in the classroom.

Our lecturer then read us the first part of the story entitled ‘The Tunnel’. From this we participated in one of the drama conventions ‘role on the wall’ whereby you draw a character from the story. On the inside of the character you write the feelings that they would have and on the outside, the feelings you would have. We then heard the rest of the story and reflected on our previous feelings which had completely changed.


We then split into groups and chose a scene from the story to portray through narration. This was useful as it showed the different ways to teach drama through the one book.

Session 6 – 25/10/16

Today our lecture was on how creative partnerships can work to improve the delivery of the arts in education. We were looking at different projects that have been ran in schools with other partnerships and how beneficial they can be, particularly a parkour project. This was good to see the type of projects which can occur and how to get involved with them in the future. Our inputs were Music and Dance.


In todays Dance class we continued to practice our dance routine and considered what we needed to do to make it look better and how to improve on it. It was quite difficult to remember the order of all the steps which I’m sure children would see as a challenge but still find enjoyable. We then videoed the final routine. From doing this we were able to watch the performance and evaluate it. This was very beneficial as when seeing how the routine actually looked we were then able to truly identify what could be done to allow us to properly improve. I think this would be useful to do with a class as the children would love to se themselves and how the finished routine looked.

I have experienced the energy and excitement of presenting/performing for audiences and being part of an audience for other peoples presentations/performances. – EXA 0-01a / EXA 1-01a / EXA 2-01a

In order to effectively evaluate ourselves and our peers we were given an evaluation sheet highlighting various aspects to consider such as rhythm, timing, energy, memory etc. We gave ourselves and one of our peers 2 stars and 1 wish. This is good as it encourages children to give constructive criticism and also encourage their peers by highlighting what they do well.

I can analyse technical aspects of dance, make informed judgements and express personal opinions on my own and others work. EXA 4-11a

It was very satisfying going through the process of creating our own dance moves, putting them together in a routine and watching it back and i think it is definitely something children would enjoy.


We finished off the session by having some fun doing social dancing and being shown how to make it more relevant and enjoyable for children by dancing to current songs rather than the traditional Scottish style musical pieces.


This weeks music input was focussed on pulse and rhythm. We began to learn how to read sheet music and discussed the names of different music notes and what they mean. We participated in an activity whereby we used shapes to represent different musical notes therefore making it easier to understand. We used drum sticks / beaters to keep the rhythm, this was a useful activity as it allowed us to understand rhythm at a very basic level and begin to get the hang of it.

We then had the opportunity to transfer the basic skills we had learnt onto the instruments. Using xylophones we were to form a piece for 32 beats using the notes C, D, E, G and A to the backing track ‘hit the road jack’ which was played on the piano. We went round the class and individually played our own 32 beats. This was beneficial as it showed how easy it is to create your own piece of music when your musical ability is limited, this would be great to do with children as it would boost their self confidence with music.

“I can use my voice, musical instruments and music technology to discover and enjoy playing with sound, rhythm, pitch and dynamics.” EXA 1-17a

Session 1 – 20/9/16

Today was the first session of our new module ‘Integrated Arts in Education’. Firstly, our lecture was an introduction to this module where we were given an insight into what we can learn from the integrated arts. Throughout the twelve sessions we will be exploring art, music, drama and dance, focussing on two of these arts per session. Today, we were introduced to Art and music.


In our first Art input we were in the University’s Art studio where various pieces of artwork were spread across three separate tables, each table displayed a different stage of pupils work ranging from Primary 1 to Primary 7. We were encouraged to look around and consider each piece of art. Something that stood out to me was that there was a vast difference between the work produced by the lower primary classes in comparison to that by the upper primary classes, understandably the work produced by a primary 7 pupil showed greater skill and precision however I was saddened by the realisation that over the years the work began to lack freedom and the ability to create whatever the pupils wanted. It was obvious that at lower level the pupils were given freedom with their pencil / paintbrush to create whatever they felt like but the older pupils were perhaps told what to do or given something to copy.

I have the freedom to discover and choose ways to create images and objects using a variety of materials- EXA 0-02a

We were given the opportunity to discuss what stage of work we liked the best, I chose the lower level work as I liked how there was greater freedom with colour, patterns, detail etc. This exercise showed me that as a student teacher it is important to allow pupils to be as creative as they like and allow them to be imaginative while also expanding their skills in art.



The first thing we focussed on in todays music input was how music affects our moods. In order to explore this thought, various different pieces of music were played and we wrote down the feeling that they gave us. This allowed me to realise the impact that music has on our lives as it can completely change your mood depending on what you are listening to.
We then moved on to musical appreciation with literacy by listening to a piece of music and imagining a story to go with it, from this we then created a storyboard in groups. This showed me how cross curricular teaching music can be by bringing in a range of subjects, music, art and literacy. The idea our group thought of was a circus theme, with each part of the music representing a different circus act. Each group had came up with a different concept which showed how listening to music can provoke your imagination.

Overall, our first input was extremely engaging and has made me excited to continue the module.