Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers, including Curtin University students from my workshop this week. Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children. You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list. Thank you. Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to.
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Singing in Schools
Last Friday night on ABC TV's Stateline program, there was a segment featuring a lady by the name of Rosalyn Happs, a music specialist trying to introduce the 'novel' notion of singing in schools. In case you weren't aware, the overwhelming majority of teachers do not do any form of music tuition in their classrooms any longer. The reason? There's a music specialist in the school. When they move to a new school with no music specialist they are so unused to programming in music that it never happens. This is tragic. It was wonderful to hear about Ros Happs' program and realise mine is not the only voice out there in the wilderness urging teachers to teach music in their classrooms, in whatever form that may take. Anne Trigg, local ASME committee member, sent the following quote from Ros Happs, which I reproduce here:
passion is to bring classroom singing back into schools. I have been 'on
about this' since the 80's when music specialists first came on the
scene. I am 'so old' that I taught music before such things existed in
I have been
reading with interest of the development of the 'Sing Up' programme in the
UK where the government is throwing a heap of money into music programmes
for the same purpose as above. This has inspired me to take this
programme and 'put it out there' to see if others are interested so that
more pilot schemes can begin until we finally convince the government to
put money into it.
Sing in tune indeed! The music specialist puts the icing on the cake. The teachers need to make the cake. Don't leave everything to the specialist. With enough practice singing along with a CD, anyone can start to sing on pitch and do a pretty good job of it. In any event, the children won't be critical. To start the day with a song ' even singing 'good morning everyone' instead of saying it ' is a beautiful way to start the day, and it helps to 'switch on' the brain. It's a lovely way to end the day too. It doesn't matter what form of musical instruction you give your children, do not rob them of their right to have music throughout their days at school. Many children do not come from musical homes.
I don't hold out much hope of getting funding for this from governments or anywhere else, whether for Ros' program or anyone else's. That's why I keep on urging teachers to 'have a go' and sing, or use music to teach drama or phys. ed. or numeracy and so on throughout the curriculum. This is the purpose of Kidz-Fiz-Biz ' to give teachers (and parents) access to a music program that anyone can have success with, even those with no music background and who profess to not be able to sing.
I applaud Ros Happs for developing her programme and for having the foresight to contact the media to bring this alarming trend to the attention of the public, and I thank Anne Trigg for letting me know this segment was going to air last week.
I was teaching a second-grade class in career education and had the students drawing pictures of themselves as adults. I wrote 'When I grow up, I want to be '' on the board and asked the students to come to me for any other spelling they needed as they completed their pictures. Caitlin came up to me and asked how to spell 'princess'. After a number of other students asked for help, Caitlin was back for 'whales'. Since I had told the students they could draw any number of future jobs, I suspected nothing. That is, until Caitlin appeared with her elaborate drawing of a young lady in a long gown and crown on a bluff by the ocean directing whales to do her bidding. It was labelled, 'When I grow up, I want to be the Princess of Whales.'
Barb Baeckert on www.teachersfirst.com
I am sitting here being inspired by your ebook. I am embarking on trying to get some of my creations published and feel as though I am hitting brick wall after brick wall. But I go back to your ebook and it reminds me that I care deeply about what I am doing and it will all be worth it. So thank you ' I have been teaching music lessons at a local preschool for the last two years and have had so many requests for my material to be available in book form and on CD'
You have already helped so much through your ebook and the warmth and sincerity that flows through it - Thank You!
|About The Author
Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA
Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her 'Kidz-Fiz-Biz' program.