Start the day with a song

Graham Sattler makes music matter

Music activity stimulates the reward centres of the brain, so straight away you feel uplifted, encouraged and motivated, Mitchell Conservatorium director Graham Sattler tells host Carly Boreland in the JPL podcast Music Matters K-6.

Children readily engage with singing, but it requires them to listen carefully, clearly and critically to join in successfully, so Mr Sattler recommends it as a good way to start the school day.

The Music Matters K-6 podcast aims to build teachers’ confidence in implementing the music components of the Creative Arts syllabus.

Mr Sattler says songs don’t have to be sung in a particular key. “There are many simple songs that you can start singing with the children and you can have them clap along with the rhythm, you can have them stamp or clap a constant beat or pulse that they can join in with.”

Teachers worried about teaching music should consider contacting their regional conservatorium, which are “very focused on supporting schools”, he says. A swag of resources are available for borrowing from Federation’s library and, of course, other teachers may be willing to help.

The great thing about songs is they create wonderful opportunities to extend into other learning areas: “It’s a no-brainer in terms of the applicability and usefulness,” Mr Sattler says.

He suggests challenging students to create simple songs using concepts from other key learning areas. “That might sound difficult, but I’ve got to tell you, it isn’t and children love that sort of challenge.” The podcast also covers musical concepts in the syllabus, such as pitch, rhythm, tone colour and structure.

JPL podcasts on a range of teaching topics are available from the Centre for Professional Learning’s website and podcast streaming services such as iTunes and on your mobile device through our Soundcloud RSS feed.

Listening to an episode of the JPL Podcast can contribute to meeting teacher-identified professional learning hours for Maintenance of Accreditation as well as professional learning goals for the Performance and Development Framework.

— Kerri Carr