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Creative Music Making in Primary Schools

The first time you hand out instruments to a room full of eight year olds is a scary moment.

The noise levels start to rise. One child is putting every ounce of strength and concentration into banging that cymbal as loud as possible. Another puts their triangle down to covers their ears. You are in the middle of it all handing out shakers and trying to keep control.

This was my first experience anyway.

I had studied music education for secondary school and then a Masters in music technology, so it had been a while since I'd been in a classroom and I had never attempted to give a full class instruments!

My Masters thesis was about new types of music notation for education and use in the classroom so I knew I had a solution that would structure the classroom performance, keep the children engaged and allow room for learning (more of that later).

First, I needed to figure out the best instruments for the job and how to avoid the noise factor. Here are my top tips for school instr…

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