Reviews and Articles
"The resources provided by Paperbark Publishing have proven to be extremely useful to us at our school. In addition to a great and understandable score analysis, the resources help bring these musical works to life through including suggested practical tasks to promote experiential engagement with the music, as well as excellent examination style questions and relevant background context"
- Mark Blake, Director of Music at King's College, The British School of Madrid
"I was not expecting to receive a full ten pages of background and analysis. The work is all fully referenced and includes really useful links to further reading. It is really helpful to those of us slightly out of our depths with new and unfamiliar set works."
- D. Rose, New England Girls' School
“A really fun piano duet that was exactly the right amount of difficulty for what I needed. The guidance I received before purchasing the piece was great - it was really good to chat to someone who knows the performance requirements for the GCSE syllabus."
- Hannah, Al Batinah International School
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Five Tips to Prepare for Teaching AS Music
We all tread that tightrope between trying to use the summer to rejuvenate and making sure we are ready for the new academic year and it's easy to find oneself feeling totally unprepared at the start of the school year.... or wishing we had taken a break. Try these tips for efficient summer holiday prep before teaching AS:
1. KNOW YOUR SCHOOL CALENDAR
Make sure you have the whole school calendar to plan around, with Sports Days, Parent-Teacher meetings, reporting timelines and, of course, your Music Department performance events.
Block your teaching around these from the beginning - link performance activities with your class assessments, ensure that you have data for reporting and parent interviews and know how many days you will be losing to excursions, non-teaching days, etc.
Sure, no school calendar is set in stone and we need to be prepared for the inevitable curve balls that senior management will inevitably throw us (some schools do this better than others!) but at least set out your planning to minimise your adjustments later on.
2. HAVE YOUR MATERIALS READY
Print your scores, or have pdf copies available for students. Store your recordings together. Set up your LMS with the essential materials, and have at least two class activities ready to go. You won't have every lesson planned perfectly for the term but at least you won't be faffing around trying to print forty-page scores on the first day back.
This also might mean having some options ready for the student performers who haven’t yet decided what they want to play!
3. GET THE ASSISTANCE YOU NEED
As music teachers, we all have our areas of expertise and the field is too broad for us to try to pretend we know it all. Do know your Romantic symphonies backwards but balk at Minimalism? Can sing all the church modes but don't really get tritone substitution? Identify your weaker area then order the book, buy the notes, and ask your colleagues for tips.
Online communities can provide a lot of practical tips - try The Music Teacher's Kit as a starting point. Purchase of our teachers' notes includes online support for the year, so if there is something in there that you don't quite grasp or at a loss on how to approach, just drop us a line here on the website or on our Facebook page.
4. WORK BACKWARDS
Slot in how much time you will need for practice papers, recording, ‘buffer timing’ those students who finally get stuck into their coursework two weeks before the due date and all the fine tuning (pardon the pun) required to get our students through with the best result possible. Give yourself plenty of time for this and aim to have the course content covered quite early.
5. MAP OUT YOUR WEEK
Plan your lessons around the course modules so that you don’t find yourself spending too much time on the content you enjoy or find easier to teach. A good teacher will make a great plan and then be ready to change it if necessary.
Plot out your performance, compositions, listening and analysis through the week with the time you think you’ll need for each component. Then review it towards the end of the term and be ready to adjust.