What profile does music have in your school? Is it a core part of your school community or is music ‘just another subject’?
A high-profile music department can help to engage pupils and improve their confidence. So, how do you raise the profile of music to realise these benefits? We have assembled four top tips to help music be at the heart of your school’s ethos.
Put on a showcase for charity
Red Nose Day is just around the corner (24th March) and a great opportunity to put on a fun event.
Why not lead the way with the fundraising initiative and put on a lunchtime gig? Delegate the responsibility for designing posters and organising ticket sales to pupils. Invite pupils and staff to perform (it is Red Nose Day, so staff’s performances don’t have to be serious!).
You could even enlist the help of members of SLT to make up a panel of judges.
Create a culture of performance
Music education is traditionally divided into three disciplines – performing, composing and listening. Of these, performing is the most visible (or audible!) in a school environment. One of the best ways to ensure that music has a high-profile in your school is to develop a culture of performance.
You can achieve this by arranging for pupils to perform in each assembly (perhaps as the other pupils arrive), arranging informal lunchtime concerts and organising the occasional ‘flash mob’.
Body percussion lends itself particularly well to flash mobs, since the performers are the instruments!
The increased visibility of music throughout the school serves as advertising for your music department and helps to bring pupils to your extra-curricular offering.
Offer your services for whole school events
School music teachers are often asked to provide the PA system for sports day and the playlist for staff parties. What if you were to take this ‘music department as a service’ approach and extend it to include musical performances?
Instead of just providing the sports day PA system, perhaps you could have students compose music to be performed as the awards are given out? Could one of your ensembles provide live entrance music for the next drama production?
Is there an event coming up that parents are invited to? Perhaps there could be a performance as they arrive for their pre-trip briefing.
Approach other departments
There will be other departments in your school who are keen to make cross-curricular links with music.
Could you work with the MFL department to arrange a Eurovision competition where pupils perform and compose songs in the target language? How about a music and literacy scheme of work?
If these projects seem a little demanding, then don’t be afraid to start small. Help other teachers to lead songwriting or body percussion workshops that help pupils to learn key vocabulary for their subject.
How are you raising the profile of music in your school?
We would love to hear what you are doing to raise the profile of music and create cross-curricular links in your school.