A high note for teaching

25th August 2000 at 01:00
The schemes of work for the new music curriculum, developed by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, offer excellent broad-based support for teachers. The QCA itself has stressed that they are not teaching materials, but only one example of a way to cover the requirements. Teachers are encouraged to develop their own schemes for teaching, which incorporate their own choice of materials that are suitable for children in their schools.

Nevertheless, the Music Publishers Association fears that the amount of detail which has gone into the exemplar, particularly in relation to the repertoire list, could tempt hard-pressed primary teachers to rely on it too heavily, rather than exploring other possibilities. This will be limiting for children, as the list represents only a small cross-section of the great diversity of music that is currently suitable for curriculum teaching.

Many music publishers specialise in devising and producing materialssuitable for the national curriculum. These materials are often designed, not only for detailed curriculum work (with step-by-step guidance for non-specialist teachers), but also for broadening the range of classroom music, and have resulted in some wonderful music-making. A recent example was a performance of Tudor songs and fanfares by 1,000 children from London at Shakespeare's Globe, based on an award-winning publication designed for juniors (which does not appear on the QCA list).

The Music Publishers Association has, therefore, produced a leaflet to help primary school teachers access the great variety of music that they could use in their curriculum work. It offers an at-a-glance list of educational music publishers, the types of music each publishes and their contact details.

Copies are available from the MPA by leaving a message on: 020 7839 7779 or by e-mailing info@mpaonline.org.uk.

Chief Executive, MPA Sarah Faulder

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