How Covid-19 impacted the role of a music teacher
We caught up with a Lambeth music teacher to find out how Covid-19 has impacted her career.
Teaching online, wearing masks and ensuring class bubbles don’t mix. That pretty much sums up how Covid-19 impacted music (and most) teachers in 2020.
There’s no doubting it, Covid-19 really shook the education industry and has impacted the teaching profession in a magnitude of ways.
At The Supply Room, we’ve noticed a sharp decline in the need for music teachers during the pandemic.
“It’s concerning, as we believe exposing children to music at a young age is really important,” Said Co-founder, David dos Santos. “And the momentum to ensure all children have access to music, whilst not where it needed to be, carried good momentum before the start of the pandemic.”
This was supported by “First Access”, a key initiative of the government’s National Plan for Music Education, aiming to introduce all students at Key Stages 1 – 3 to learning an instrument through weekly whole-class instrumental lessons.
In 2014, Boris Johnson, during his time as London Mayor, introduced the “London Music Pledge” with the aim of having music in all schools.
He wrote “Music isn’t a ‘nice-to-have’; it’s an essential part of every child’s education. From the ages of 5 to 14, all children are entitled to play instruments, compose and listen to music in school, every week.” We believe schools across the country should endeavour to offer music for pupils, even if it is at a very basic level.
You can read more about this 2014 pledge here (PDF Download) here.
We caught up with a music teacher from Lambeth to find out how Covid-19 has impacted her career
What has been the biggest challenge about being a music teacher over the last 9 months?
The biggest challenge has been adapting to the restrictions on singing and sharing instruments. Most of my ‘go-to’ activities have had to be modified in some way. I’ve been using lots of body percussion and Makaton, in place of singing. It’s important that the changes don’t take away from the musical learning so we do continue to sing in a covid safe way and play instruments on a rotation.
Teaching music from home – how has that been and do you think the children have been able to continue learning in the same way?
I think children benefit greatly from music education. I think it’s really important for their mental health to continue to participate in creative activities, even online. There are so many online resources for music education. Many resources are being offered for free during the pandemic as well, such as Music Play Online or BBC Ten Pieces.
Children are learning in a different way but they’re still learning!
What are you most looking forward to when you can return, without restrictions?
Definitely singing assemblies! I think all the children are really missing the chance to all gather together and let it all out with a big sing. It’s such a great energy booster and gets us all ready to start our day in a positive way.
Primary music teachers are often responsible for instilling a love for the arts at an early age, helping even parents identify their children’s talent for music.
At The Supply Room, we are keeping a close eye on all areas of the education job market and will continue supporting teachers and schools with their music goals when the need arises.
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