Last year I was teaching in a boys comprehensive school in London. This year I’m teaching at a new international school in Malaysia. I could go on and on about all of the things that are different about working abroad in an international school but actually the most important things musically for me this year are still the same as they were last year.
That tweet of mine was from a #mufuchat a month ago. We were all making pledges for the new school year. Catch up with past #mufchat’s here.
So with that pledge in mind my main goal for the end of this term is a house singing competition. EVERY single student will have to take part, it’s not an option. Each house will produce their own programme of music consisting of a solo piece accompanied by piano or guitar, an unaccompanied song of at least 3 parts and a song that must include every student in the house. It’s a big challenge, most of the students have never done anything like this.
I’ve started preparing already. At KS3 I’ve been doing Find Your Voice, so lots of body percussion & beat-boxing. I’ve just started 3 chord song mashups e.g Riptide, Next to me & Wake me up. I’m going to keep the 3-chord stuff really structured and them move them onto 4 chord songs and expect them to completely take the lead. Hopefully by the beginning of December just in time for the competition they will ALL have developed their singing skills enough to be able to contribute to some awesome performances!
I only have one A-Level student and two GCSE students so I’m having to find another way of getting KS4 & 5 students involved. I’ll be running some lunchtime vocal workshops with all of KS4 & 5 nearer the time of competition and more importantly….
I’ve decided…. I’m going to have…. Drum Roll….
An ‘Octave of Music Captains’!
A really cheesy name that I’m keeping to myself! Seriously though I am going to have 8 captains. That’s one student from each of the six houses plus two spare to make sure I have plenty of support.
The music captains will have some responsibility for deciding how the music department develops, what equipment we buy, what musical activities take place, what repertoire the ensembles & choirs perform, supervise/keep an eye on the department and most importantly be responsible for their house’s musical contribution to competitions, assemblies and other events.
So far all of the music captain applications have been fantastic and when it’s all sorted I’m really looking forward to sharing the responsibility of creating that culture of music for all not just the few.