My newest school

Last week was the first week of Term 2 and I started all my weekly school-based projects. One of the schools is new – Darling Secondary College (a pseudonym) in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Another is an old friend – Pelican Primary School, just around the corner from where I live. This school had a lot of renovations and other disruptions going on in Term 1, so held off starting the music program until Term 2. My third school is ‘Melbourne English Language School’, which I usually refer to as the Language School, and I’ve been working there steadily since 2005.

New schools mean going in with an open mind, and taking a bit of time to get a sense of the territory. At Darling SC, I’m working closely with the specialist music teacher and her year 7 and 8 classes. We talked at length on the phone before I started there.

“Never give them a choice!” she warned me emphatically. “What ever you do, don’t even think about asking them what they want to do! Because they won’t give you anything!” Steely and essential advice from her point of view perhaps, no doubt gleaned from experience, but pretty eyebrow-raising for me, given that my work is all about giving young people ownership of the music they play, and engaging with their ideas.

Therefore it was a relief for me to start at Darling last week and meet two groups of pleasant and responsive young people, who’ve already got a good grounding in music literacy. I enjoyed seeing my colleague in teaching action and getting a sense of how she likes the class to work. Now to get them playing and working with their music knowledge creatively. So far, so good.

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2 comments so far

  1. Neryl on

    Looking forward to the next installment 🙂

  2. […] at my new Monday morning school, Darling Secondary College. This is the school where the teacher warned of the particular challenges of her class – “Don’t give them a choice, whatever you do!… You can’t do any ensemble work because […]


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