Can’t stop the feeling!

Our lessons always contain active music making. They’re high energy and engaging with singing at the core. Children are making music and singing all the way through. Want to learn why and how our methodology works? Three words…Prepare, Present, Practice.

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Making Music is Fun

Singing and musicianship is at the heart of all of our lessons, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of music. All of our teaching is singing-led, made up of lots of activities including singing games, folk-based material, instruments and percussion work. We also incorporate rhythm, rhymes, multisensory learning and props, drawing heavily upon the world-famous Kodály approach. But while active music-making is the goal, we also ensure each lesson sits within a broader Scheme of Work, mapping back to our Progression Framework and sitting squarely within the guidelines of the National Curriculum for Music.

So yes, our lessons build on rhymes and games with lots of singing all the way through. Pupils are first prepared to learn something which is then presented by the class leader and later practiced actively by the children themselves. As a rule of thumb, when it comes to new ideas and concepts, the method we use to engage learners is “Prepare, Present, Practice.”

For example, the child is prepared for an element by experiencing it through a game, through having fun, singing a song, playing a game, you’ve prepared something. You’ve prepared them to learn something. Then you take that element and present it to them and say, “Do you know what we are tapping? This is called the pulse. This is what we have been playing all through this song” Then the child practices it again and again through more games, through ensemble work, through singing together, through sight-reading and various other learning activities. This is to develop a deep understanding and knowledge of music, of the musical principles, so it’s not just a game for the sake of a game, it’s a game to then extract the element from it and really study that element.

At Sing Education, we draw heavily on this approach, along with other expertise drawn from the music education world and our years of practical experience of working in schools. As a result of our unique teaching requirements, we’ve invested in the development of our own classroom materials and resources so we can readily incorporate groundbreaking education methods, as well as tried and tested teaching practices, like Kodály.

A group of schoolchildren, wearing green sweaters and sitting on the floor, are gathered around a red glockenspiel, sharing a moment of laughter and learning. The focus is on two girls in the foreground, one with a joyful smile, as they engage in a music education activity, highlighting the camaraderie and interactive nature of the lesson.

What is the Kodály approach?

Kodály was an educator and composer from Hungary. As a teacher at the national conservatoire, he noticed some of his really high-level students lacked a truly deep understanding of music. They were proficient in instrumentation, voice and theory but there’s something fundamentally missing from their music education. So Kodály took it upon himself to search for the best music teaching techniques around Europe. He travelled around searching for what he felt really, really worked and he amalgamated all of these ideas into what’s now known as the Kodály approach. Primarily singing-led, it builds music-making and knowledge from the simple to the complex, so you’re always each step going up the gradient, rather than jumping in at the deep end which can often be the case with music training.

The Kodály approach uses folk-based songs, so music from around the world, music that has come from children. It’s come directly from the playground, from song circles, from our ancient (and modern) cultures. We incorporate a lot of English folk songs, as well as music from around the work, from Hawaii or the rest of the Americas, from Africa and Asia. This really helps with developing language skills as well, especially for our children with English as a second language. Learning to sing in English can help them tremendously because it uses the rhythms of the English language. The music inherently has those rhythms.

Little Steps Big Outcomes

A big focus of our approach is to make sure that children have a well-trained ear, head and hand. These things together – a well-trained ear, well-trained head and well-trained hand – create a fantastic musician with a real passion for music and a deep, visceral understanding of music. If they have a well-trained ear, for example, they have a richer understanding of pitch, of intervals. The music is in them, it’s not external to them. It’s just not a case of making music by pressing buttons on a keyboard or fingering frets on a guitar. Pupils actually can feel the music before learning to play it on the piano or another instrument.

If they have a well-trained head, that’s about the knowledge. They have a deep understanding. They really do understand music. They don’t just know a term, they really understand the term because they’ve experienced it. If they have a well-trained hand, that’s the posture, vocal or dexterity techniques that they have developed throughout their learning, building step by step from simple to complex technique. And rather than being the first thing they do – namely learning how to play an instrument – a well-trained hand is the thing that develops alongside and after having a well-trained ear and a well-trained head.

A teacher and three students are engaged in a lively classroom activity; the teacher is kneeling and demonstrating a hand gesture, while the students, seated on the floor, mimic the motion with expressions of focus and enjoyment. The classroom setting includes a whiteboard in the background, suggesting an interactive learning environment.

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Leadership in Action – Values, Skills and Training At Sing Education, leading in the classroom requires far more than first-rate musical training and a desire to teach. It’s all that and more – including curriculum mastery, classroom management skills, safeguarding knowledge and living out a set of values that put pupils first. Learn how our Director of Education ensures our standards are high and our teaching is excellent.
Get to know our diverse team of professional music teachers, from the Sing Education senior leadership team to our music specialist teachers.
In our experience as a leading curricular music provider, Sing Education has looked at the reason why so many music, art and theatre teachers struggle to stay engaged with their chosen career – despite their overwhelming love for children and primary education.

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