Skip to navigation Skip to main content
Support our work with London's young music makers. Donate Now
JK__0535(2)

Music Excellence London – A Teacher Advocate’s Perspective

This blog was written by Jane Werry, Director of Music at Hayes School.

As music teachers, we have a lot of things that set us apart from teachers of other subjects. Our subject is invisible, and exists only in real time – it can’t be put into a book, or written on. Music involves a huge variety of skills and knowledge, which makes teaching it a fascinating but complex business. Music teachers are often expected to put on a whole host of extra-curricular activities, which act as a shop window for the school, on top of teaching huge numbers of students. Sometimes they have to contend with senior leaders who want them to do things in the same ways that other subjects do. Many music teachers have to fight for timetable time, rooms, funds, or the very existence of music in their school. And often they do this alone, in a department of one.

A sense of isolation – even in schools where there is more than one music teacher – can lead music departments to feel as though they are constantly reinventing the wheel. Just to know that others are dealing with the same things offers some solace, but to be able to share ideas and experiences directly is a lifeline.

This is where Music Excellence London comes in. Bringing together the excellent work already done by the Peer to Peer and Teach Through Music programmes, it provides a channel of communication for music teachers, so that ideas can be shared and classrooms can benefit. The team of Teacher Advocates from all over London will be at the centre of providing peer to peer support, hosting webinars and TeachMeets, and contributing to our online community.

Teacher Advocates do not pretend to have all the answers, but are practising London music teachers facing the same challenges as everyone else. We know that there are great ideas and opportunities out there, and knowing about them can only help music teachers with their teaching and in their working lives. For myself, I am excited about the prospect of music-specific TeachMeets and webinars as forums for sharing ideas and learning new things.

Whether these are ideas that I can try out in my own classroom the next day, something that will help me run my department better, or stick up for music in my school, sharing them can only be a good thing, whether this is face to face or via online forums. They might be great ideas for a scheme of work, a lesson activity, a way of teaching something, or something much more prosaic like a fundraising idea or storage solution. I, for one, am excited about the prospect of learning new things that will be of benefit to me, my students, and music in my school.

Sign up for more Music Excellence London updates here >

Donate

As a small charity we rely upon donations from generous individuals, trusts and companies to support our work with children and young people across London.

Send a Donation +

Tweets

  • The arts will be key in helping our youth through these times. Join us as we discuss which musical activities have… ,
  • At a time of such career uncertainty, how can we support our young creatives into a career in the arts? We'll be d… ,
  • Music educators, we want to know which online music activities have worked for you during Share your exp… ,
  • Just 4 days to go until our interactive online training session 'Music and the Youth Sector' with @LondonYouth!! Sp… ,
  • Have you booked your free space on our 'Music and the Youth Sector' interactive training session? Don't miss out! ,
  • We know that many musicians, music educators, freelancers/ facilitators have faced stresses during COVID-19. Our se… ,
  • Share your musical activities that have engage young people online at our free online session 'Delivering music act… ,
  • We have a fantastic line-up for our 'Music and the Youth Sector' event We'll be joined by Colin Brent and Likkle… ,
  • Join our 'Building resilience and wellbeing' course! We'll focus on building resilience/ managing change with… ,
  • Have you found an effective music making activity which engages young people? Want to share activities that worked/… ,
Follow @Sconnections
Support our work with London's young music makers. Donate Now