We’re very proud of our long and rich tradition within educational music publishing and are delighted to be able to showcase this heritage in our Education Catalogue. We hope that this resource will help you to find out more about the titles that you already know, and highlight those hidden gems or new publications that you may not have come across before.
motivationby Pam Wedgwood It’s is a huge responsibility for us, as teachers, to guide and inspire our pupils with well-balanced teaching that will ensure they are musically motivated. If we get the mix wrong and our pupils begin to lose interest then we must question and change our teaching strategies. During my 30 years of teaching I have been constantly on the search for new ideas to motivate my pupils. Here are some of my suggestions: Introduce music that the pupil really wants to play. This simple but effective strategy ensures steady progress, especially if you use the chosen pieces to introduce and consolidate aural and theory. If general musicianship is not dealt with from the beginning it’s always going to lag behind and the pupil will struggle when it comes to exam time. To help with the understanding of rhythm I work with my pupils on various instruments – the current favourite being my lovely set of African drums! We play rhythmic duets of new pieces – in my opinion an essential teaching tip at any stage. (In the absence of drums, clapping will also do.) Teaching pitch awareness is also really important and I have a few ways of incorporating this into lessons. Sing or play a note on the piano then ask your pupil to find it (they’re allowed three tries). I do this at the end of lessons – it’s amazing how much pupils improve in one term. You can also ask them to listen to household equipment (ambulance sirens, hair dryers and doorbells) and try to work out the pitch on the piano (my vacuum is in F). In addition there are some great apps that deal with pitch which are worth exploring. ‘The only thing better than singing is more singing’. Being able to sing the notes is just as important as being able to play them, I believe, and it’s important to include this skill in lessons right from the start. Some pupils (especially boys) think that singing is not cool – you’ll need to find a song that sounds cool and they’ll soon start to enjoy the 26 Faber Music Education Catalogue
experience. At the end of a lesson you could also try singing the upper or lower notes of an interval (always keeping it simple!), and singing back a two-bar phrase of their ‘top’ piece. Learning theory can seem dull and uninspiring without the right approach. I teach my pupils on Sibelius: getting them to compose simple pieces by inputting all the information is a brilliant way of understanding theory and makes it much more fun. In lessons, don’t forget to use the pieces you are working on to discuss keys, accidentals, tempo marks, metronome marks and so on – always keeping it relevant and interesting. And finally, allow yourself to step outside your comfort zone and try some improvising with your pupils. Teaching your pupils modal and blues scales is a useful tool, or using the pentatonic scale on the black notes is a great way to start. You can do this from lesson one! Paul Harris pam wedgwood Pam’s musical career began with the recorder and piano, moving on to tenor horn and euphonium through the brass band tradition at her school. She then took up the cello and french horn, entering Trinity College of Music in London to study piano, horn, cello and composition at the age of sixteen. In 1988 her long association with Faber Music began with the publication of Jazzin’ About, a series that now numbers over 30 books and has featured on many an examination syllabus. Since then her output has grown to over 200 books including the successful Up-Grade! and After Hours instrumental series, the recorder method RecorderWorld and the adult piano method It’s never too late to play piano. In the UK she has led many workshops for the European Piano Teachers’ Association and has inspired teachers in workshops as far afield as Singapore and Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. Pam now concentrates on composing and teaching, though she is also a keen sportswoman and international traveller! Faber Music Education Catalogue 27