All the news from Musical Futures International
What do you get when you put a group of music teachers from America, Australia, the UK, Brazil, Scotland, Kazakhstan, Trinidad and Tobago and Malaysia in a Mexican restaurant? Well it's Musical Futures China of course! Massive thanks to Russell and the team at Xiamen International School for having us for 2 fantastic days of workshops.
We spent 3 fun-packed days working with students at GEMS World Academy Singapore to prepare for performances at Arts Week. Working with grades 2-7 we explored a huge range of music, performing, singing and composing. Many thanks to Daniela, Tracy, Chris and staff for making us so welcome!
Our January workshops began with 2 days of workshops at Nexus International School Singapore, hosted by Clare Lambert and her team. It was great to catch up with old friends and make new ones. Thanks so much to everyone who took part!
Our Talk less Play More in 2018 campaign has been running now for a month and it has been great to see posts sharing video and photos of music making in classrooms across social media. have a look at the #talklessplaymore hashtag on Twitter or Instagram to get a flavour of what has been shared. Our Musical Futures Australia and Canada chat groups have been discussing what #talklessplaymore looks and sounds like in practice and in particular we love this comment from primary teacher Michelle Lewis in Adelaide;
”Since #talklessplaymore I have started my lessons by not giving them a 20 minute lecture to start them off (I like to talk!) but instead I have left any instructions they need on the screen so they just walk in, read then start! It has been awesome and avoided a lot of behavioural problems from kids who don’t like to sit and listen
They come to me if they want more info but most of the time they help each other and I just hover and advise. I’ve definitely found that they are much more able than I thought they were!!”
The campaign has several aims.
It grew from some work we did recently in China with teachers with whom we shared no spoken language at all. It challenged us as trainers and teachers - because we couldn’t talk we had to communicate our aims and learning points through playing. This was a reminder of how powerful it is to learn through music making, experiential and student led which has always been at the heart of Musical Futures.
Musical Futures is about understanding the variety of different ways to learn music and helping teachers to think about this and how that might change the way they work. Being aware that how we learned as teachers may not be the only or best way to teach students is a key part of our practical workshops where teachers come along and experience some of the pedagogy from the position of the learner. This means playing, singing, working together and then the chance to reflect on how they might use these approaches back in the classroom.
We want to stay close to the pedagogies that are important to Musical Futures, to recognise the new research into popular music education that continues to be shared and to encourage teachers to think about how and why they teach music.
We have always loved the community and the ethos of sharing that grew out of our 2013 Find Your Voice open online pilot.
It is important that Musical Futures doesn’t lose the richness of our Take, Use, Innovate, Share ethos so we want to refocus on what’s important- the music students make in the classroom.
We know teachers and schools are a little more open now to social media.
So we would love to hear music from classrooms round the world, whether you use Musical Futures or not to nurture that global community of teachers and educators who have come together around Musical Futures and continue to support the organisation to keep fresh and original whilst staying true to the roots that it has grown from across the last 10 or so years.
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