Education Projects

Kodály and the Curriculum for Excellence

For the last four years, NYCoS has been working in partnership with West Lothian Council, running P3 YMI choirs, playaway days, school workshops and teacher training. These activities are continuing this year, with increased numbers attending after school choirs in Livingston, Linlithgow and Fauldhouse.

Lucinda Geoghegan was approached by St Nicholas Primary School in Broxburn, West Lothian, to run a nursery/primary one music project linking with Curriculum for Excellence Active Learning. She provided activity packs for the teachers with lesson aims and outcomes, and support for the members of staff involved.

Lucinda explains how it has been working…

"We have divide
d the children into four groups. Four leaders (leaders are teachers, support assistants and nursery nurses) each receive a teaching pack which has lesson activities, learning outcomes, resources needed for the lesson and a CD with any song material. The teacher leads the same pack of material for four weeks and the children rotate weekly round all four leaders. By the end of the four week block the children have experienced all four activity packs. The names of the children in each group are written on an assessment sheet, which moves round with the children. By the end of the four week block there is an overview of each child’s ability in the various activities. After that another four packs are given and the whole thing starts again!
The benefits are that the leaders have ready-to-deliver material with activities, teaching guidelines and links to Curriculum for Excellence. They receive staff development opportunities on site, working with small groups and carrying out assessment on a weekly basis. By the end of the year the teachers will have a very good knowledge of each child’s musical capability, and will have increased confidence in their own abilities to deliver a music based project. They will also have a music course which can be used the following year…”


NYCoS intends rolling out this programme across West Lothian in the first instance, but is also in talks with other authorities who are interested in the programme.

 
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Bookstart Rhymetimes


NYCoS was delighted to be involved in this YMI funded project, initiated by Bookstart and Youth Music, which aimed to install music at the heart of the parent and child relationship, while raising awareness of the links between singing rhymes with babies and literacy development. NYCoS trained, along with Experiential Play, four Music Champions, who then were able to pass on their skills, confidence and musical knowledge to members of professional staff who did not have a musical background or training. These Music Champions have mentored library staff in South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire to run effective and enjoyable sessions in local libraries.

Residential training for over 100 members of staff from across libraries, health and early years was provided in three geographical areas and 9 local authorities, and a “sharing day” in December was an excellent way of looking at the high quality brand of music and story sessions which Bookstart wanted to offer to all parents across Scotland. A musical resource to be inserted into every Bookstart baby book pack was published. The project has been evaluated by an independent team and the project is to be rolled out between 2008 and 2009 to another 8 local authorities.

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Gaelic Project

A couple of years ago, NYCoS was approached by a vocal tutor working in the Highlands, who was impressed by, and working with the NYCoS Go for Bronze programme. She felt that it would be good if she could teach this in the many Gaelic settings that she works in, and wondered if Bronze would translate!

The principles are universal, but the song material that was used did not translate, or did so in a very clumsy way. Kodály believed that indigenous folk song should form the basis of any culture’s music education, and NYCoS felt that this was a good principle to follow. Accordingly, in partnership with Feisean nan Gaidheal, and with support from Argyll and Bute and Highland Councils, a new project has started. In March, six tradition bearers met in Glasgow with Lucinda Geoghegan to look at suitable material for inclusion in a Gaelic version of our Bronze programme. Given that many Gaelic songs are based on the pentatonic scale, it was thought this might be reasonably straightforward. Not so! After three days of hard work on the part of the Gaelic singers and teachers, Lucinda now has a massive bank of recorded material, based on work songs, puirt-a-beul and pibroch songs. This is only the first step in paving the way for a Kodály based programme for Gaelic medium primary class teachers and music specialists to follow, but we hope that with the help of these experts many people will benefit from this initiative.

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Sistema Scotland

NYCoS Education Director, Lucinda Geoghegan, has been asked to contribute in an advisory role to Sistema Scotland’s mission to transform children’s lives with music, empower communities and grow future orchestras. Sistema has opened its first children’s orchestra centre in Raploch in Stirling, where children of all abilities sit and play music side by side, in a community engagement programme run by a team of musicians working initially with children from pre-school to Primary 4.

Experienced Expert Friends such as Lucinda, have a depth of knowledge of a particular pedagogy or learning style, and can be a resource to support the musicians. Specialists in Dalcroze, Kodály, Suzuki and String Teaching have been recruited to help the musicians think creatively, try new ideas and take risks in a supported environment.

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Other Projects

Lucinda Geoghegan has worked for a number of years in providing training workshops for Children in Scotland, and NYCoS is looking forward to being involved in its Picture This… conference in December, an international event exploring arts for young children.

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We work with many different groups of people in spreading the Kodály message, and an exciting opportunity has arisen to work with a talented group of young musicians called Symposia, a new music ensemble based in Glasgow and co-founded by one of the composers involved in our songbooks – Oliver Searle. The players come from a variety of different backgrounds and they are always interested in collaborative work. They have successfully bid for Youth Music Initiative funding for a programme of training with NYCoS on workshop facilitation.


 



Glasgow City Council