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Coventry Music Blog - It's great to be back teaching music again

Published: Monday, 16 November 2020

kevin on piano

All the Coventry Music staff and tutors are so delighted to be back working with schools and Coventry children again...hopefully soon we will also be able to showcase our talent again.

Here is an update from Kevin Stannard – Music Engagement Officer, Coventry Music, on how glad all the teaching staff are to be back at schools and some exciting news of future events being planned

 

Coventry Music returned to schools in September having spent lockdown preparing a wide range of music materials to aid teachers and students in their musical endeavours. In the unfortunate times of a pandemic, music-making of whatever kind is most needed to soothe the emotions and support our well-being. This has involved the creation of schemes of work and preparation of online teaching and performance videos to underpin music teaching/delivery that has been hampered by the necessary Covid restrictions - as well as the writing and arranging for music ensembles and choirs for when we are able to meet and make music in larger groups outside of school bubbles. We hope those times are not too far away!

Young people have shown great enthusiasm for music since resuming their school studies face-to-face, understanding that there should be more emphasis given to body percussion and rhythm-related activities as well as listening and talking about music.  In my teaching, youngsters at Keresley Grange Primary Academy have been focusing on creating and performing riffs and rhythms over a steady pulse and listening to music by Offenbach (The Can Can) and Saint-Saëns (Carnival of the Animals). Year 7/8 pupils at Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School have been listening to and discussing the music of Anoushka Shankar and Gold Panda as performed at the 2020 proms concerts at an empty Albert Hall. 

We have been happy for children to sing gently in their bubbles! Indeed, singing has been a lovely way for pupils to (re-)engage with music and help them settle back into the routine and rigour of school, always safely and with the agreement of teachers in a Covid secure way.

We also have some exciting new songs which have been written during lockdown for Mornings of Music 2021

Last year we saw lots of children learn some great songs as part of our Mornings of Music event. We were unfortunately unable to share the songs with each other, but we know the children enjoyed learning them and sharing them in their own schools.

We are excited to announce that we have some great new songs being prepared for this very popular event ready for 2021. This year the theme is a historical journey through Coventry to fit perfectly with the City of Culture 2021

"New for 2021 is the Coventry Schools’ Culture Cantata with music composed by Kevin Stannard (Coventry Music Engagement Officer) and words written by Rebecca Thompson (St Mary’s the Mount School, Walsall).

The 10-song cantata is a magical, musical tour for young people living in Coventry today. Journey back through the ages and experience the war-time blitz; meet Sir Frank Whittle; recall the range of motor cars built here and celebrate the importance of Coventry’s industrial heritage before arriving in the times of the iconic Lady Godiva."

We can't wait to share them with children and schools across Coventry soon. We will be in touch with more information for all the schools involved as soon as we can.