Here at Sound and Music, as well as supporting composers of all ages and stages, we’re continuing to support educators across the UK who teach and inspire young people to compose and create their own music.
This support is even more important during these challenging and difficult times, and in the days of COVID-19 as young people continue to be isolated at home, and as their teachers rapidly adapt to a whole new way of working.
Today we’re delighted to be able to share a new blog written by Nick Hughes, Head of Performing Arts at Robert Smyth Academy in Leicestershire. Nick is Principal Examiner for AS music technology and is in the final year of completing his Listen Imagine Compose Masters in Teaching and Learning. In his blog, Nick talks about the challenges of teaching music technology, musically and now remotely, including what he has learned and his hopes for the future. He ends his blog with a fantastic set of suggestions for free Digital Audio Workstations, including some ideas for activities that use them.
“The sudden arrival of remote learning during the COVID-19 lockdown has been the very definition of the word ‘challenging’. For music teachers who teach music in, with, and through music, we have our own uniquely distinct challenges… My hope is that the ‘new normal’ for education will prompt us to react to many of the realisations learnt during these troubled times.”
– Nick Hughes
Nick’s blog coincides with our launch of a new series of six free online professional development sessions for teachers, composers and educators in place of our ‘usual’ annual Listen Imagine Compose Away Day.
Listen Imagine Compose is a partnership with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Birmingham City University, and these new online sessions will feature teachers, composers and researchers from across the Listen Imagine Compose community. We’ll be covering subjects such as:
- Supporting young composers at home during the coronavirus crisis
- Encouraging creativity and – as the culmination of the series
- Exploring the way forward for creating progression routes for young composers through the creation of a strategic alliance.
You can watch all the six sessions here.
Last but not least, we are also now open for expressions of interest in the Listen Imagine Compose Masters in Teaching and Learning. So, if you’re a teacher working with young people of secondary school age and interested in developing your practice in the teaching and learning of composing, you can find out more and register your interest for the academic year 2021/22 here.
“Doing the Master’s course through Listen, Imagine, Compose and Birmingham City University has been one of the best experiences and challenges of my teaching career. After a number of years in the classroom it has revitalised my teaching and understanding of composing in the classroom. It has challenged me to think about my own practice and develop a varied range of strategies to use in the classroom in light of current research. It has been an incredibly worthwhile, albeit sometimes demanding two years (studying and working full time in a busy music department) but there is an incredible range of support available.”
– Claire Savage, Head of Music, St George’s RC School, London