Emma Brookes is a Trainee Music leader on the Level Up! project at Two Rivers Special School in Tamworth. This project seeks to increase opportunities and raise aspirations for group music making for young people with SEN. She is keeping a blog of her time on this project. For more information about this project, or Make Some Noise and our work with young people in challenging circumstances, please contact Jacqui@make-some-noise.com
What a difference a couple of weeks has made. The students have shown some amazing progress in not only their ability but in their understanding and listening. Some students whose behavior was problematic in the first couple of weeks are really calming down now and enjoying sessions. I wonder whether this is because they are getting to know us and the familiarity of the session.
We’ve only been working with year 9 so far but now have a year 8 class during first period. They were quite shy to begin with too but hopefully that won’t last long.
I’ve also had a bit of a chance to work with the students on my own. Whilst working with year 9, Chris left the room to go and help the guitarists so I naturally and quickly took on the role of leader even though the music teacher was in the room. I was able to go around the room and make sure each student knew what they were doing and happy with it. I then lead the piece by giving them a starting pulse and bringing the individual parts in whilst desperately trying to help the singers stay in time.
The students responded really well to this and I enjoyed it a lot.
I do have quite a bit of experience as a session leader having worked with Early Years, lots of dance teaching and working with various ages and abilities so now it comes quite naturally, but I welcomed this chance to work with this group.