Friday, 21 December 2012

Friday 21st December - Less is more


I have finally finished the school teaching and the piano teaching for this year - Phew.

I must admit that I cheated yesterday; I taught the same lesson three times, first to the lower juniors, then to the infants, and finally to the upper juniors, with slight variations;

the action/game song "My hat it has three corners",

File:Venice Carnival - Masked Lovers (2010).jpg

then listen to Ronald Binge's "Venetian Carnival" (you can hear it here)

and finally illustrate the story in the music; the carnival, party, brass band, dancing, fireworks, "fill the page with lots of colour and excitement, and yes, you may use Felt Tips".

The same lesson worked very well for each age group - they all enjoyed the singing game, especially when I added a competitive element "if you sing the word that we are leaving out, YOU are out and have to sit down".

"Colouring-in-to-music" is the most despised of all music lessons in the ofsted report on teaching music in schools. Hopefully I would have escaped censure by including "singing", "internalising", "listening with attention to detail", "using expressive language to describe music ideas", "aural recognition",  before "responding creatively to music" - i e colouring to music - at the end...

It was about all the children were fit for at the end of a very, very long term, and about all that I was fit for as well!

There comes a point where you have to cut yourself some slack. Enough will be an ample sufficiency. We are not going to be able to manage the whole home-made, Nigella-Delia-Heston Christmas this year; still, I have bought a turkey, and all kinds of goodies from the supermarket (it was almost empty at 5pm last night - hurrah!) and It Will Be Great. Like Patrick Stewart says as Captain Picard in Startrek, "Make it so".

I have no idea what kind of a Christmas occasion they will manage at the hospital, but we will do our best, and make the best of it. I have no doubt that there will be tears and laughter, smiles and sadness, but we will have a Merry Time.

As my mother said, oh, almost a month ago now, "we have been so very lucky".   


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