September 2019

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Dr Rebecca Berkley is a Lecturer in Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of Reading. She is the Subject Convenor for the BA in Primary Education (QTS) with Music Specialism, Deputy Director for the MA in Education and is also the Music Education Pathway convenor.

Rebecca’s main focus is to ensure trainee teachers at the University of Reading develop their expertise as teachers by being expert musicians in their classroom.

Read Rebecca’s reflections on musicianship and leadership and why this is applied to teaching at the University of Reading.

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Every music teacher inspires children by leading practical music making in their classroom. They use their musicianship skills every day. Musicianship training is at the core of all the music education provision we offer in the IoE, and in Music at Reading’s choral and instrumental ensembles. Musicianship starts by training the musical ear through games and practical activities, linking movement, singing and instrumental performance with a deep understanding of musical sound as it is represented in music notation. It is a really inclusive way of teaching music, enabling all learners from 0100 to develop strong musical skills to support them in their lifelong music education.

A fundamental part of our teacher training programme for primary and secondary music teachers at the IoE is teaching them the skills of classroom musicianship and leadership. We believe that every music teacher should be an expert musician in their classroom, using their skills of singing, playing, improvising, composing and directing in every lesson to inspire their students through creative work.

Recently, I was delighted to hear from a year 2 Music specialist on the BA in Primary Education (QTS) that she had taught a series of successful music lessons on placement in the summer term built around singing and rhythm improvisation which the children really enjoyed. Her mentor, who was not a music specialist, described the way she led the children in part singing as being ‘like a magic trick.’ The mentor was so impressed by the student’s leadership that she asked the student to show her how to do the same kind of teaching, and also asked for the student to observe her and give some feedback.

Music teachers trained at the University of Reading have a deservedly strong reputation for having solid practical skills as musical leaders, as a result of this approach in our Initial teacher Education, and on our Masters programme.

For more information in about teacher training in Music at the University of Reading, take a look at our Music Secondary PGCE, BA in Primary Education (QTS) with Music Specialism and MA in Music

Education. To join any Music at Reading ensemble and find out about our events and concerts, please go to the website (https://www.reading.ac.uk/music/) or follow us on social media

@UniRdg_Music.

drumkit in purple lighting