Lovely Words Said
"My first year of teaching classroom music straight out of uni was in a small town, with a circuit of 10 schools. I was feeling very isolated, overwhelmed, and desperately wanting some guidance to know that I was on the right track with my teaching.
As there was not many other people in town teaching classroom music with me, I was really struggling to get ideas and resources to use in my teaching.
Living in a small town, there was not many opportunities to be able to network with other music teachers who were teaching in a similar role to myself. Becoming a member of the Crescendo community meant that I was able to have access to a network of other music teachers online.
Once I became a Crescendo member, it was wonderful to have access to the hundreds of resources available online – particularly the ideas for assessment tasks and worksheets! It gave me the confidence in myself to know that I was on the right track with my teaching.
Today, I still use many of the resources from Crescendo in my teaching. It is wonderful to know that I have a place that I can easily go to if I need any support or ideas. I would highly recommend becoming a member of Crescendo Music to all music teachers!"
"I was looking for new ideas to use in the classroom such as new games, worksheets, assessment ideas, conducting and singing tips for my choir and general encouragement.
I felt comfortable in my teaching routine but I realised that I wasn’t extending myself, expanding my repertoire and I needed advice regarding assessment and reporting. I also felt isolated within my school as I had no-one else with whom to compare teaching methods.
Crescendo not only connects teachers together, offering great workshops and ideas online but it filters through to the classroom. The Crescendo newsletters provide teaching tips, encouraging messages, practical ideas and plenty of resources. The workshops are a great way to learn new games and check whether I am on the right track in my music lessons.
I attended a number of workshops before I became a Crescendo member but only after I took up membership, did I realise how much information and support I had been missing out on in previous years.
I now feel that any problem I have or any time I am looking for fresh ideas, I can look back on newsletters, email Debbie or attend a workship and I’ll always have support. It's good to connect with other music teachers, share ideas and find solutions to some of the problems we face at school. Crescendo provides a great sense of community which is invaluable amongst specialist teachers."
"Being the only primary music teacher at my school means that I have no colleagues with which I can discuss planning, resources and assessment. I felt professionally isolated.
Making decisions about behavior management, planning and assessment with little or no support is very difficult and I felt quite alone trying to make these important decisions.
Crescendo offered a potential solution. When I looked into it, the resources that Crescendo provides (worksheets, planning templates, assessment items including rubrics and workbooks) were all suited to the curriculum that I follow. They have also been used with students and refined for improvement. Crescendo workshops, especially Preparing for the year and Totally Treble (choral workshop), are always extremely practical and engaging. They provide an opportunity to meet with other music teachers and to share ideas.
At the end of the semester I would always become stressed by the number of students that I teach and the need for authentic assessment items for reporting. Using assessment and planning tools from Crescendo streamlined the process and I became much more organized and felt calmer about reporting deadlines (plus the assessment tasks gave samples of work that I could share with the students and parents to help with reflection)
I feel much more organised and supported in my teaching role. I think feedback to students is more authentic and the criteria for tasks is much clearer. My lessons are more engaging with the resources I have gathered at workshops and through the website."
Feedback from the workshop Prepare for 2017:
"I really appreciate all your hard work! I’m hoping for a great year and so far it’s looking that way, especially with the stress off about planning, overviews and differentiation. Looking forward to learning more at your amazing PD sessions. I know that my students benefit from your passion."
Feedback from the workshop Prepare for 2016:
"Thanks a million to you and Anne for a really great workshop yesterday. Your passion, planning and presentations are an inspiration to me."
"I became a member of Crescendo earlier this year but have only just sat down and started looking through all of the downloads. I just wanted to say thank-you for everything! So much work and dedication. Your passion and willingness to share always impresses me."
"I just want to let you know how much I appreciate your newsletters & website as I live & teach in Moree, NSW and feel a bit remote at times. Your newsletters are a source of encouragement to me. Thanks heaps for all the effort you put into them."
"What a great and inspiring newsletter. Thanks for starting my week with a smile, inspiration and a desire to be a better music educator."
"Thank you for our music inservice day, for sharing your work with us, your gifts and for your enthusiasm toward raising the quality of music education…. you are a legend!"
"Thanks for being you – and so willing to share what you know and invite others to do the same. Makes for a lovely feel – great job!"
"Thanks again for a great session. Thoroughly enjoyable and, as usually, entertaining. I love your honesty in presentation style too Deb. You are only too willing to share your disasters and foibles as well as your successes. That helps us all to feel more normal when things are not perfect in our worlds. You have a real gift. You remind us all why we really love our jobs."
"As an experienced teacher (but a new music teacher) - I found your practical assessment ideas at the last workshop wonderful! I have been using your assessment circle ideas for the last few weeks & it has worked beautifully for me. I got through a lot of my assessment in 1 lesson & just finished things off the following week.
I printed out the Kodaly flash cards you suggested & have been using them as well. I also took your comments about professionalism on board & will be giving all my teachers their assessment in printed-out computerised versions.
Thanks for your inspiration – looking forward to Monday!"
"Debbie’s Workshops I have found invaluable because they are practical, honest and drawn from her different experiences as a music teacher. I know now how to read the core content in the syllabus and use that to form my program plus I am learning new repertoire, strategies on assessment, teaching improvisation and behaviour management, all of which have been valuable and that I have used in my current situation. I cannot wait to see what comes next from Debbie’s workshops. The networking opportunities with other music teachers that naturally lend themselves in these sessions I have also found beneficial to my teaching practice."
"Thanks for last weekend. It was a great day and nice to be re-inspired and given ideas for keeping music alive and fun in the classroom."
"Just thought I’d let you know that my School choir, consisting of 10 wonderful, talented and hard-working girls, won their section in the Gympie Eisteddfod today singing Roses are Red as our own choice song. Thank you so much for your fabulous song. I look forward to performing more of your works in the future."
Feedback from Prepare for 2019:
“Once again a pacy and varied workshop to firstly, allow classroom music teachers to share the various roles, responsibilities, management issues and repertoire choices for events they are expected to stage throughout the school year, other than classroom programmes.
Debbie provided many useful tips on planning ; the selection of core content and other integrated thematic repertoire ; ensuring a variety of styles of testing and assessment through such methods as embedding quizzes, multiple choice questions, composing and notating exercises into work books.
Debbie demonstrated the application of the GTMJ templates to aid clarification to accurate and fair assessment of our students’ work and succinctly put elements of ACARA into a practical context.
Have you discovered your Pedagogical Imperative?”
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