Being timetabled into a music lesson can be both challenging and rewarding. I feel it would be imperative to liaise with the Music Teacher before the lesson begins to find out exactly what role they wanted me to play and what my responsibilities would be throughout the lesson. In this regard it would be beneficial to have a copy of the lesson plan to follow which I could then annotate as necessary.
I would consider any basic requirements before the start of the lesson to facilitate the smooth running of the session such as ensuring;
desks/chairs are cleared in order to create carpet space, computers are powered up and logged on to correct programme, the interactive whiteboard is switched on and orientated, music sheets and resources are photocopied if required, instruments are checked and distributed.
The above preparation would ensure that the Teacher can make full and effective use of what can essentially be a short space of time.
I would also familiarise myself with any of the more unusual instruments, finding out their correct name, how to hold/play them and maybe some background information, such as what country they come from, which I could then share with the children during the lesson.
All children are different and therefore should be treated individually dependent upon their specific needs. For instance I would give a child with fine motor skill difficulties a djemba drum to play rather than a glockenspiel as there are less co-ordination skills required, or maybe a child with learning/attention issues a tambourine or maraca which would facilitate constructive lesson input without too much defined structure. These considerations should make the session less stressful for the child concerned with minimal disruption to the lesson.
In some circumstances the Teacher may split the group in two to work on separate parts of a whole composition. For instance half of the class might work with me to produce a background pulse, whilst the other half work on a repetitive rhythm with the Music Teacher. These two separate groups could then combine their music to make a complete composition.
There are various ways of doing this, either with musical instruments, computer programmes such as Compose World Junior or Rhythm Maker, or a combination of both. Either way I would be available to encourage and guide the group of children I was working with throughout the session, modelling instruments/beats and encouraging the children to think about the task they have been given and how they could best accomplish it.
Within any parts of the session led by myself it would be imperative to give clear and concise instructions, possibly asking questions at regular intervals to ensure children have understood any information/instructions given and are attentive. Throughout the session I would give praise and encouragement to those behaving in the desired manner, particularly the children with attention/behavioural issues, whilst ignoring disruptive behaviour or using the schools behavioural strategies to steer disruptive elements of the class in the desired direction.
During the session, either formally or informally, I would be aware of my duty to observe the children. At the end of the lesson I would inform the Teacher if any of the children were struggling with the instruments or tasks as well as whether any of the children were finding the activities particularly easy or engaging.
In some cases I might use a ‘Flip Cam’ or other device to film/record the music the children play. This could then be used to assess the progress/ability of the group/individual or to let the pupils listen to the work they have created.
At the end of the session I would gather in any resource/music sheets and either file them or return them to the teacher. I would then collect, check and store the