Do you have a box that you put letters and important documents in? I do. It’s was so full up it was about to burst. It was one of those portable filing boxes with segments for bills, finance, receipts etc. Trouble is someone in the past convinced me to keep all this paperwork because if I didn’t I would get in trouble somehow. I’m not entirely sure how but I’m sure I’ve heard in the past you must keep important documents for SEVEN YEARS.
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…
I’ve just started work at a new school and in order for the pupils get to know me, I let them ask five questions about me at the beginning of their first lesson. I recommend doing this when you start work at a new school providing you have a good sense of humour and don’t mind potential personal questions being asked. Thought I’d quickly post some of the questions they asked me just for a bit of fun…