Music for primary schools. A scary subject?

Let’s talk about music for primary schools. Over my years of teaching one of the main findings I have discovered that has remained predominantly in my mind (so much so I started a business around it!) is the constant fear teachers live in regarding performing music in front of their class. It always fascinated me how working adults my age, who embodied such confidence in their teaching could fall so flat once there was mention of music.

So where did this come from? 

As with anything we do, a lack of experience leads to concerns and anxieties surrounding the task at hand; therefore, the more we run from music, the more anxious we get! But if this is the case, how do we stop the vicious cycle from continuing? Do we go back to teacher training days and enforce further training? Do we stop making teachers teach subjects they have a lack of experience in? I can’t imagine the latter being successful as many teachers would find themselves only teaching one subject if this was the case!

From my own experience working with many teachers, I have found that the fear stems from a fear of appearing foolish. We all know that ‘kids can be cruel’ and that teachers don’t want to let on any weakness. However isn’t it exhausting trying to be perfect all the time? Especially for teachers who always need to provide the answers. So when teaching music for primary schools, why do we force teachers to live without the answers? 

Imagine being invited for a ride in a car for the first time with someone who was petrified of driving – enough to put you off, right? Well, that’s what’s slowly happening to the next generation of children entering the primary curriculum.  Instead of embracing the wonders and creativity of music, and the unique relationships it can build within a classroom – we continue to hide behind comforting screens that require little engagement. 

Think back…

When you were in primary school. What was your music experience like? Do you remember your class teacher actively teaching you about music? Was that a highlight of your primary journey? If yes, wonderful! But you’ve been one of the lucky ones. I was fortunate enough to have private lessons which got me hooked on music, however, most children aren’t as fortunate – which is why we, as the adults need to support our teachers, support our trainees, and support our children to break the cycle of fear and anxiety surrounding performing in the classroom.

If you are a primary educator and want to learn more about teaching music for primary schools, why not check out our CPD courses? Join the Academy by clicking here, or heading to academy.themusicalme.com. CPD UK accredits our courses to ensure we provide the highest quality materials to reform your music lessons. For more information, email hello@themusicalme.com or give us a call on 0800 7565580.

Author avatar
Corinne Hope
Fully dedicated to improving primary music education for all.

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