Save Time & Increase Engagement With These Christmas Lesson Ideas

Last week I was telling you about my top favourite traditional Christmas songs for quick and easy time saving lessons.  (You can read Time Saving Christmas Lessons right here) But don't we all have those students who shun the beautiful traditional Christmas songs and carols (or SHOCK HORROR have never heard of them!!!!) and are only interested in the more rock/pop/modern hits.

I am sure, like me, you have found that the majority of these songs are actually quite complex to play and can create quite a lot of workload to take down to a level where students can learn independently.

Thinking about January already?  Not sure what to teach?  Have a look at this list of 100 Curriculum Ideas for some inspiration and receive a new resource every week in your inbox!

So here are some quick and easy ideas on how to approach the trickier songs.

Karaoke O' Clock

Yes, Christmas songs will persuade even the most reluctant of performers to open their...

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Time Saving Christmas Lessons

Love it or hate it, Christmas is on its way and as music teachers we all know this is going to be a big time of year.  Personally I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!  Concerts, carol services, community singing, what's not to like?   And you have the added bonus that you can do all the boring admin style jobs whilst singing some timeless and cheery Christmas hits!

On the downside the extra extra-curricular may result in you having to set the dreaded cover.   Or just being far too busy/tired/exhausted to plan amazing lessons right up to the end of what will have been, quite frankly, an interminably long term.  (When was the summer?  Can anyone even remember it now??) . Time to do anything else at all becomes a major problem doesn't it?  

So why not spend a couple of lessons focussing on keyboard skills?  I find the old ones are the best when it comes to finding accessible Christmas tunes for students to learn independently.  And...

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Music Baseline Assessment: 5 Questions You Should Be Asking


The 5 Questions

The start of a new term brings with it, for most teachers, a number of new classes.  Whilst we will undoubtedly still be teaching some familiar students, every school will have a whole new intake and each teacher will have several new classes.  In this article, I am going to be thinking about how to determine the current knowledge of those classes in order to plan more effectively for their learning and progress, with a particular focus on secondary education.

Whenever we assess a student, there are certain questions we should be asking ourselves - Who, When, How, Where, and Why.

What is Baseline Assessment?


But first, what is a baseline assessment?  This is some kind of initial student testing to determine their current knowledge and skills. It is commonly done in September with a new year group - for instance year 7 on arrival into secondary school - or a group beginning a new qualification - for instance your GCSE cohort.  If you...

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16 Benefits of Music Education

Today I’m going to be answering some questions that I get asked a lot as a music teacher:

So why are we here miss?

Why do we have to do music?

Why is that on our timetable?

These all boil down to one big question….

What are the benefits of a good music education?

And the good news is there are lots of ways to answer this.  Music education is very important for a whole range of reasons.  Let’s not forget that music has probably been around as long as we have.  The oldest musical instruments found are bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes, found in a cave in southern Germany and are thought to be 43 000 years old.  For us to have kept making music for this amount of time must prove that music has some great benefits, or otherwise wouldn’t we just have given it up?


Before I go any further, I just want to remind you of the three main strands to music education.  Music education is going to be most effective if it offers a broad...

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