This is an article I first wrote in 2010, but as it was so popular, I decided to update it with more examples and some better explanations. I used to teach students music video production and as part of an introduction lesson I got them to learn and identify the three main types of music video. I thought I’d share this with with those of you who are teaching a similar topic or you are interested in creating music videos for yourself.
In July, students from the school I work at performed in front of thousands at BT River of Music Festival, the Asia Stage. Urban Playground, the school’s big band, played alongside Clarinettist Arun Ghosh and his Arkestra Makara, an ensemble of world instrumentalists from across Asia.
I filmed the whole performance as well as interviewed students about their experiences and put together this video. It’s really cool to see the kids get inspired and talk so maturely about their excitement of working with such esteemed musicians at such a big performance venue.
Part of the joy of working at the school I work at is some of the cool stuff we get involved in. Recently our kids played in front of thousands at the BT River of Music festival, they’ve performed at the Barbican and various other places too. Every now and then, us teachers are asked to get involved in something or other. Fairly often, we’re being filmed for various projects and last year I posted up a promotional video for Musical Futures I was being filmed for. This time it’s a video about a day in the life of the music department I work at. It was made earlier in the year, but I’ve just noticed it’s online.
It’s that time of year again. When exam results come flooding in around the country the media focus frequently (and generally unfairly) points to such questions “Are exams getting easier?”
This year however, it seems to be different. The number of A*-C grades have fallen for the first time raising questions about why this is so. Michael Gove has claimed that no pressure has been aimed at Examination boards and AQA chief executive Andrew Hall stating, “I can certainly say I felt no pressure to do anything different to what we have always done.”
Late last year I got myself an iPad 2. Since then it has hardly ever left my side. In the classroom I use it to film music performances, keep track of student progress, make resources, plan lessons, play music to students and more.
The great thing about the iPad is that it’s multiple devices rolled into one. Whilst still quite an expensive luxury item, it’s changed a lot about the way I teach in the classroom. I’ve decided to review and list some of the best iOS apps I used in the classroom and write a bit about them. Some are paid, some are free, but it’s worth clicking the links and checking them out.
Earlier this year, my music lesson at Morpeth School was filmed as part of a Musical Futures promotional video. Just noticed that it’s now online! Check it out. My Head of Department says I deserve an Oscar… what do you reckon?
I’ve recently been working on ‘In at the Deep’ end projects with Year 8 students at school. Usually with this type of lesson the kids pick some very awkward choices of songs that are hard for them to learn over several lessons. This is especially so when you have them picking ‘Grime’ tracks that they’re supposed to be able to play on a couple of guitars and a drum kit.
On Tuesday, Jazz trumpeter Christian Scott and his band visited Morpeth School to perform and lead a workshop with the members of the school band ‘Urban Playground’. After performing a couple of tracks he started a question and answer session so the students had the chance to find out all they wanted to know about him and his music. He had some fascinating stories to tell and provided great insight into the influences behind one or two of his pieces.
Yesterday Morpeth school received a very special visit from Sir Ian McKellen the fine actor probably most well known for his role as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings. His visit coincides with a campaign for anti-homophobia in schools and he spent the afternoon talking with students about prejudice, bullying, homophobia and the things we need in place to tackle such issues.
Morpeth School recently organised a trip for the members of their drum group (Pulse) and their Big Band (Urban Playground). This isn’t the first time the kids have been to Madrid and each time they go it’s an overwhelming success. The kids stay with families in Spain for a few days and over the course of the trip, play several concerts in public places as well as schools and to various VIPs. Thought I’d attach one of their videos to this blog so you can check it out – pretty damn good for an East London secondary school…