The Launch of the Jolly Music Online Course
Theresa Reynolds – September 2014
When the Jolly Music online course launched in Ireland on 1st July, we waited with excitement to see what the reactions of teachers would be. Would teachers find the audio and video footage helpful? Would they ‘get’ Jolly Music?
The majority of the course has been written by the Jolly Music co-authors, Cyrilla Rowsell and David Vinden, but we also invited contributions from experts in the impact of music in early childhood, music and special needs, and music for learners of English as an additional language. Many teachers were bowled over to discover that the benefits of music are both broad and deep. One teacher of deaf children commented:
‘Who could have guessed that a music course would be the one that I have found most applicable to my children?’
The responses have been overwhelmingly positive. The inclusion of a copy of The Music Handbook: Beginners has proved hugely popular, as it makes it easy for teachers to take what they have learned into the classroom with immediate effect.
Many teachers were relieved to find that teaching improvisation skills is not as scary as they thought, and that they could start work on improvisation in a simple and straightforward way even with four-year-olds. The skill of ‘inner hearing’ came as a revelation to many, as did the strategy of using a single short, simple song in innumerable ways to teach a whole range of skills, and the emphasis on constant repetition and consolidation rather than constant novelty.
But the one word that cropped up in almost all teacher reactions was ‘confidence’. What this course offers them is the ability to give the very best music teaching to their pupils, and the confidence that they can deliver it effectively.
Over 170 teachers took the course in Ireland in July and August. Those teachers are now back at school, enthused and empowered, and with the course now available internationally, we look forward with unabated excitement to the responses of the next wave of teachers.