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How to make the most of music in your school

Peripatetic teachers

Lobby the head and the governors to bring in instrumental teachers. Then persuade them to help with classroom work as well.

Start a choir

Gather together the children who like to sing, and teach them some songs. Do without auditions. Do not work from books - if you need the words, put them up on an overhead projector. Stand in front and stay in control. Very frequent 15-minute rehearsals are better than an hour a week (in that respect training the voice is like training the rest of the body). Do not worry about the accompaniment. When your choir is ready to perform, you will find a pianist or a guitarist somewhere - in the secondary school or further education college, or among the parents and grand-parents.

Do performances

Invade assembly as often as you can with creative music groups, musical stories, choir songs. Put on a concert for parents.

Play music as children come in and out of assembly

Lobby to get the best CD equipment

Use your accomplished musicians

There are always children who have private lessons. Use them in assembly. uild them into your creative music sessions by letting them improvise.


Look in the catalogues for easy composition software. Expressive Software Products' Compose World Junior, for example, is excellent and very accessible.

Expressive Software Products, 21 Beech Lane, West Hallam, Ilkeston DE7 6GP. Tel: 0115 944 4140 E-mail: Resources

If you do not have an authority music scheme, Manchester's Music in the Classroom is excellent, very accessible to the non-specialist, and very much in line with the current and the new national curriculum. From Manchester Music Service, Zion Arts Centre, Stretford Road, Manchester M15 5ZA. Tel: 0161 226 4411.

Practical advice and help with choirs is available from the British Federation of Young Choirs, Devonshire House, Devonshire Square, Loughborough LE11 3DW. Tel: 01509 211664.

E-mail: An excellent supplier of percussion instruments (and missing bits for the ones you have found) is Percussion Plus, The Mill, Great Bowden Road, Market Harborough LE16 7DE. Tel: 01858 433124.

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