Ever since I can remember music has been my “thing”. Whether it was singing, playing as past of an orchestra, quartet, traditional music group or just with my Dad it has always been part of my life.
I have been very lucky at various stages that I have had the chance to either lead or teach music to various kinds of ensembles and this continued as I went to university.
In my second year at university one of my lecturers asked for some volunteers to help out with a children’s choir she ran in the university. Being the sucker I am for helping people, started going along to help out and little did I know that it would change my life.
5 years on and although I have moved onto new pastures I am still loving it. I did 3 years volunteering and was them offered a job with the choir: the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS) Aberdeen Area Choir. I was so happy to have something I enjoyed made into a way or earning money. I have seen the choirs grow up so much and develop as little maestros in their own little way.
Alongside any job it is important to have a support network and I am so lucky to have such an amazing support network for my teaching, including a rather crafty family to help me along.
As part of my music teaching I try to find the most fun ways of teaching music concepts.
One of those is the spacing of pitches.
For my youngest class this includes So, La and Mi for now.
In Kodaly music we teach the children through musical pitches Do, Re, Mi and so on. (Think of The Sound of Music – Doe a deer a female seer etc) Do does not have a set note (eg middle C or F#) as it is moveable.
The best way to do this is a floor stave. I was tired of using masking tape on the floors as I usually only got 2 sessions out of it and teachers don’t like us using it on their carpets. I contacted the wonderful G’Ma Ann and hey presto she made me a wonderful portable floor stave and beans bags to with with it for teaching the kids (as you can see below).
The children loved it (even the older ones I teach). It’s amazing how something so small can make something so much fun for children. We now use it to compose little melodies and I look forward to using it throughout the rest of my teaching.
Thank you to NYCoS for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I will be forever grateful.
Thank you to G’Ma Ann for her wonderful crafty hand. And last but not least thank you to everyone at the Keynko collective for letting me be part of this wonderful family.
For more information on NYCoS, Kodaly music or ideas for games follow this link. http://www.nycos.co.uk/