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Liza Field

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Everything posted by Liza Field

  1. Thank you Nick, this is certainly a worthwhile resource. Most schools do deliver a Blues or Jazz unit to pupils at KS3. I have just had a quick look and this resource looks excellent for this purpose - especially when all the units are completed.
  2. Hello John. I am told you should look at Iomega drives. You could use an external Hard Disk or a new "Rev" drive (a bit like backup -tapes). All Iomega drives come with software to setup an automated backup. We have a system like this. Iomega desktop hard disk: http://www.iomega-europe.com/eu/Products.a...50USB20External Iomega Rev drive: http://www.iomega-europe.com/eu/en/product..._family_en.aspx
  3. Just to wish you all a happy end of term! I broke up yesterday (although my husband had the delight of having to teach today - hee hee). I hope all the end of term assemblies went well and that the music was good! This year our shcool big band played and I was really happy that our sax and guitar teacher came in to lead them. Have a restful summer!
  4. If the pans are not left out do you find that they need to be frequently tuned? I am currently trying to develop the ICT at school and any free money is going towards computers etc but I am quite keen to buy some of the entry level pans for pupils to use during a Caribbean projects I teach in year 8. My thinking is that as these are only £60ish each then I could buy a couple a year and slowly build up a class set of them that way. I would not have any bass or cello pans though - but these seem very expensive (£700-900). This is just something that I cannot consider on a normal music dept. budget.
  5. I have always been keen to have some steel drums for my department. However due to the huge expense of a start-up set (around £3500) I have never been able to get any. I was browsing through a catalogue and saw some mini pans at £50ish each. Do any other depts. have these? If so are they any good? I have heard in the past that steel drums do not actually last very long in the classroom and need to be retuned often. Has anyone had such problems? Any advice would be much appreciated.
  6. I've just looked at your whiteboard resources and was really impressed. I am going to try them out with my tutor group on Monday morning... I'll just need to come up with some challenging Qs for them. Brilliant work!
  7. I think the reason that I have not posted much is that when I do come to the site (which is not as often as I should) I like to just read through the topics. I like to think that I have good ICT skills (well I should as I am teaching a GCSE ICT course in addition to my own subject - music), but when using the computer it is usually for work. If I am wanting some stress release I would rather spend the time playing my violin or taking a nice long bath with a good book..... I also find that I don't have that much time during term time to browse the internet. For example at a parents' evening last night that was meant to be from 5.30-7.30 I ended up not leaving until 9pm as I had a constant flow of parents to see me. Maybe that is because we women do like to talk more (hope I can get away with the stereotypically post here!!)
  8. Hope this is not too late for you. We put on a production of Les Mis in 2003 and this year followed it with 'Crazy for You'. It was a huge success and the lively jazz music went down superbly with the audience. We are very lucky to have an excellent jazz band at school and some outstanding dancers - the latter being a must for this show. Hope this helps!
  9. I had a very strange experience with one of my rock bands after school tonight. They were playing I'm Gonna Be by The Proclaimers. I did not know what to say. I remember buying my dad this for his Christmas present one year when I was 11 and I hated it then! However I have to say that the school band actually improved it and sang it better. At the expense of making me feel old! I thought this band was the most hated band ever though - or is that just in Scoland? (Well we all hated it at school anyway) Sorry, I just had to share this as it was so bizarre for a group of year 10s, who call themselves a rock band, to be playing this.......
  10. I totally agree with this. Pupils can get completely confused with notation. I think that teachers should encourage pupils to develop their awareness of notation while offering them other ways of writing their music. During a Pachabel's canon unit where pupils write their own variations, my colleaugue uses an excellent system where pupils write their own music into a grid and show note lengths by lines/arrows. It is very basic but effective. Then those who can write in notation. Allowing them the option means that they do not stiffle their creative ideas. At GCSE level pupils do require some basic notation skills for the mini dicatation style question in the listening paper. I do encourage pupils to work towards gaining grade 5 theory standard by the end of year 11 - especially if they wish to continue their musical studies. However some pupils will simply find this area really difficult. One pupil I have is an excellent drummer and developing really good improvsational style piano skills. However if you put a piece of notated music in front of him he is 'absolutely useless miss and about 5 grades behind' as he would say. I am sure that this is fthe case in many schools - if not all!
  11. Yeah - we wish! Rob, I tried it the BBC Gamelan site. This is very good and would be brillaint for KS2 and year 7 pupils. I have been looking for some stuff like this for GCSE level. Have you come across anything?
  12. Liza Field


    Rob I was really interested to read about your use of the tablet PC.. These must be fantastic in the music classroom - even for mundane things like assessment. We put our department assessments onto the computer on a basic excel sheet. However as I like to see what the kids are doing this would allow me to be able to walk around the classroom monitoring pupil's and write my assessments at the same time. I can definately see how these could be much better than the use of a laptop.
  13. Liza Field


    I have a wireless connection at my school and it causes endless problems for me - with the connection cutting out. I would say that I am a fairly proficient user of ICT and certainly not a phobic...but I do not like the wireless system as it currently is at my school. The hub is within my block, and those in other parts of the school seem to have no problems. However I find that as soon as my classroom door is shut the connection cuts out. This is really annoying as just about everything at my school is done on the computer - registers, e-mail bulletins etc. To be honest I just connect my laptop to the network point on the wall. Much more reliable!
  14. I agree that Interactive whiteboards can be underused and teachers who have them must receive training to help them reach their full potential. I am a new user of an interactive whiteboard and utilise it in my music lessons. I love using it for music software packages such as Cubase and Sibelius as pupils can watch the music as well as listen to it! I look forward to learning more tools and becoming more confident with using it more and more in my lessons.
  15. http://www.en.eun.org/eun.org2/eun/en/vs-m...lang=en&ov=8616 The music pages of the Virtual School provide some ideas and resources.
  16. Liza Field


    To be honest I was shocked when I read that it was used for GCSE. I did not even consider this and certainly do not think it is appropriate. Does this mean that people use the given midi samples in Cubasis too? Some of my year 10s asked about this and I was frustrated with them for even considering it. E-jay is a good tool to introduce simple musical concepts and music technology, but certainly not for examination level.
  17. Liza Field


    I have found using e-jay an excellent way to motivate pupils. It allows pupils of all abilities to access composing - some just using the given samples, whilst the more able to create their own. I taught this to year 8 for the first time this year as a complete unit with excellent results- after an unsuccessful attempt at a rondo unit with last year's groups. In pupil feedback every pupil said they loved the work and many explained that they felt their confidence had developed. E-jay allowed pupils to develop their understanding of structure and texture, whilst encouraging them to listen to their music and ensuring that it worked as an ensemble. Where many pupils would fail in the performance aspect this allowed them to focus on selecting appropriate sounds and textures to suit their genre. They could then focus on their live performance of the song and think about how to make their vocal part effective. Pupils were put into groups and their task was to create a pop/dance song. They had to write their own lyrics, make the backing track, record lyrics onto e-jay, add instrumental parts, add a dance routine and then make a video and CD recording. I would be interested to hear other people's experiences of using e-jay.
  18. http://www.musicatschool.co.uk I started this site as an NQT in 2000 as a way of sharing my worksheets/schemes of work with others. Since then I have developed some online lessons and interactive revision activities.
  19. An excellent site I found via Rob's site was http://www.monkeyc.org/index.html This provides endless hours of fun for kids..... I have also been really impressed with the resources on the BBC site and use these in lessons on the Smartboard: http://www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/1xmusic/ Liza
  20. I think that the potential for internet radio in school is great. I have recently won a bid from Youth Music - Music Making: ( http://www.youthmusic.org.uk/looking_for_f...Music_Maker.jsp ) to set up an Internet radio station in my school. This bid also allows for professionals to come in and set it up. We will then run some workshops in school with our pupils and go out to our feeder primary schools and broadcast their compositions/performances. I am really interested to see what happens as a result of all of this
  21. I think you mean co-wrote don't you? I'm Liza Field, Director of Music at Soham Village College. I'm currently in my fifth year of teaching and enjoy developing and experimenting with ICT and music. This is, of course, hard with all the demands on a Director of Music, and hence my own music website - MusicAtSchool.co.uk doesn't get the attention it should. I'm working on updates though! Outside of classroom teaching I am priviledged to be asked to author online music materials, and work with Amazing-Grades.co.uk as their lead teacher for music, the Guardian's Learn.co.uk / LearnThings, review music websites for the NGfL and TeacherNet.gov.uk. I've also done work for other companies such as co-authoring the BBC Bitesize revision materials with Rob Jones (as mentioned above ) and preparing online lessons for the Welsh NGfL. Recently my College has won a grant from the National Foundation for Youth Music to run an internet radio station - which looks particularly exciting. I look forward to exchanging ideas and opinions on this site - especially about using the Interactive Whiteboard I've been lucky enough to get recently (to the disgust of my husband the history teacher ).
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