Megan’s week as roving reporter for Make Music Gloucestershire

Megan BettertonMy name’s Megan and I’m 17 years old. My school, High School for Girls, Denmark Road, offered us a week of work experience and I got to work with Make Music Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire Music through my interest in journalism. I was given the opportunity to go and visit two primary schools and a music charity,  and to write about them for Make Music Gloucestershire’s newsletter, website and blog. Here’s a report I wrote about my week for my school.

You can also read the pieces I wrote about Gloucestershire Music’s Whole Class Instrumental Teaching,  The Music Work’s Get into Music course and my interview with Gloucestershire band, Halfway to Nowhere.

Monday: My first day was really enjoyable and welcoming, I was introduced to everyone at Gloucestershire Music (which was the organisation hosting me for the week) and  given a tour of the building where they’re based, Colwell Arts Centre, and even learnt about the history of how it had been used in the past. Then I started on one of my tasks for the week with a lot of help; I created some interview questions for a rock band from Cheltenham and then sent it off to get a response and later write up as an interview/article. I didn’t expect to do something like that on my first day but felt it was a huge step towards helping me to figure out whether that’s actually what I want to do in the future. I then started to get everything sorted for Tuesday and Wednesday so I would be more prepared to visit the schools and talk to the students and teachers. Overall my first day was really welcoming and productive and gave me a really good insight into the type of work I was going to be doing throughout the week.

Tuesday: On Tuesday morning I visited Huntley Primary School where I observed a year 4 and 5 whole class violin lesson. Most of the students seemed very eager to start playing and show each other what they could do. It was very interesting to see how excited the children were about playing their instrument and how they listened and took in what Heather McFarlane said to them. The children were very encouraging and helpful to each other if they forgot which string to pluck or what finger to use they had no problem asking their friends. I managed to talk to some of the children quickly before they had to go to their next lesson which was helpful. I then returned to the Colwell Arts Centre to do some more writing and organisation for the rest of the week.

Whole Class Music GloucestershireWednesday: On Wednesday I spent most of the day with Maureen Currie who also teaches whole class tuition, we went to Cold Aston school and Twyning school. On the way to Cold Aston Maureen kindly answered many of the questions I had and helped me gain a better understanding of what it was like to be a music tutor. At Cold Aston I sat and observed the children’s clarinet lesson as well as being able to talk and ask questions to the students and their teacher. I then went to Twyning school where they were learning brass instruments, and got to talk to more of the children there, as they were older they did give me more detailed answers which I could use along with the interviews from Cold Aston to give me an overall idea of how the children in different parts of Gloucestershire felt about their music tutoring experiences.

The lessons were very different, it could have been because of the age difference or the different types of instrument, however both groups of students worked eagerly and most played with confidence and enjoyment which was really good to see. It really helped me to understand the importance of music lessons in schools and how they can benefit the children. A teacher at Cold Aston commented about how the children’s clarinet playing subconsciously had improved their general coordination when writing in lessons which emphasises how music is important and can help in subjects across the curriculum. Read the article I wrote about my observations of whole class teaching.

Get into Music The Music WorksThursday: Today I went to the recording studio with the Prince’s Trust and The Music Works, as part of their Get into Music programme, and got to watch the students record some of their own songs and watch a recording artist perform as well. This was really beneficial to see how young people are gaining these kinds of experiences that a lot of people never even get to try. Along with the different things they did throughout the week they were working towards their own blog and achieve an Arts Award.

This was really different to the other things I got to see throughout the week but was really interesting and opened up a whole other version of what Make Music Gloucestershire and it’s partners have to offer young people. We then came back to Studio 340 and I got to see them writing up on their blogs and the talk from someone at Gloucestershire College to talk to them about the music courses available which I think was important because it showed them that they could use what they gained from this week and end up getting back into work or education which is one of the main aims of the Prince’s Trust. Overall it was really interesting and showed a whole different side of the music education offered in Gloucestershire.

Friday: Today was my last day with Make Music Gloucestershire hosted by Gloucestershire Music and it was mainly just writing up and going through what I’ve done this week. Overall my week has been really beneficial and interesting and I’ve gained a lot of experience. Before this week I was set on the type of journalism I wanted to do in the future, but this week I have encountered many different forms of writing which I have become more interested in and therefore has opened up my options.  I am very grateful to Gloucestershire Music and Make Music Gloucestershire for letting me work here for the week and for the amount of amazing opportunities and experiences they have offered me.

Make Music Gloucestershire creates, promotes and funds opportunities for young people to make and learn music, improves and develops the quality of music education, and champions music education. Find out more at www.makemusicgloucestershire.org.uk and find tutors, workshops and studio/rehearsals spaces and more at glos.touchbass.co.uk or follow us on social media – see links at the top of this blog site.

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Posted on June 23, 2015, in Music Education and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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