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Jess Soutar Barron21 April 2020

Teachers may have class but music teachers rock.

School’s back. My little chickens are sequestered in various corners tippy-tapping on the qwerty or zooming with class mates: cell bio in the study, cartography in the front room, Romans in the lounge. All over the region my children’s teachers are redesigning lessons they already designed, getting to grips with new tech, and thinking up ways to deliver programmes with whatever we have at home in the most elaborate Make’n’Do project the nation has ever seen. While at the same time ensuring their own precious darlings are doing whatever work their teachers have set for them on a dozen different platforms. Last term none of us cared a jot about Schoology, Education Perfect, Google Classroom, Zoom, Trello, Learncoach or Turnitin, now they are part of everyday chatter,

It’s an Herculean effort on everyone’s part: parents, teachers, and kids.

But eclipsing everything we’re doing is the energy, love and chutzpah shown by our music teachers.

All three of my kids are fortunate to have music as part of their weekly routine. And all three music teachers have continued to offer inspiration and stimulation throughout the Lockdown: part school holiday, part term time, part Easter break but really just one amorphous mashup of time.

My potiki has had hilarious contact from her teacher, who was hiding somewhere in his garden at the time. He delivered a package of learning for her disguised as a Spy’s Secret Code, which she needed to hack. My oldest skypes with his teacher on Friday afternoons and has a good hour of respectful discourse that inspires him through the weekend and beyond. The middle kidlet gets emailed instruction from her teacher who is completely across where the kid is at, and is progressing her in a way that works for her age and stage. The relationships all three have developed with my children are now delivering reward. The trust they have, the respect and the strong communication lines are all paying off, tenfold. My kids get more than music from music. They get self-discipline, literacy and ‘decoding’ skills, listening skills, resilience, patience and grit, and breathing practice that knocks ‘mindfulness’ out of the arena.

I have lucky kids; music lessons are a privilege. But at this time when everyone’s mettle is being tested, I’m the lucky one. Class and subject teachers are remarkable, they’ve given Lockdown Week 3 structure and motivation. It’s music teachers though, working independently and in isolation anyway, who bring the real harmony into our bubble.

 

Jess Soutar Barron21 April 2020

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