Friday 18 September 2009

On teaching smaller people

My school has two year 6 classes (10-11) before the other seven years and I am teaching one for the first time this year. They are very cute and apart from having tendencies towards putting their hands up to tell me random facts, are great. It does take a while to get stuff done, because I'm aware that they are more fragile than year 7 and so my usual snappy manner could cause distress and so I find myself having to wait whilst 6 boys regail us with their story every time I ask a question.

Anyway, we have this song which we do at the start of the year and we have to do major and minor, so to demonstrate I played it in Emin instead of E maj and they thought it sounded very melancholy and infact better. I left in a few augmented 2nds so it had a slight East European tinge too. As a naughty treat, we sang the first verse in E min and they went for it and it sounded really heart rending, sniff, so I suggeted (obviously in a teachery, this IS what we are going to do kinda way,) that we ended with verse 2 in E maj to cheer ourselves up!

I used to demonstrate the difference bewteen major and minor by playing Xmas Carols in different keys. We three kings is great when you make the verse major and the chorus minor! Musical vandalism in the class room.

So far, there seem to be some very interested boys in the exam classes and we staggered through the Elgar Serenade on Mon am, so the concert should be fine. 12 weeks til Xmas....

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