I’ve been playing around a bit on Logic and I have made some backing tracks for my Year 3 Rocking Rhythm lessons. The children move around in a carousel learning to play four different rhythms that we learn to read using standard Western notation. They start easy with just one bar ostinati but then progress into two bars. We use normal classroom percussion instruments, about 6-8 children in each team and when we have played the music we move to the next station and learn a new rhythm. It’s a fun way to play and learn the basics of reading and performing rhythms from notation. Watch this video to give you an idea of how it works.
After four years I have left China at short notice. I had a new job lined up at an IB school in China starting in August and was excited to start this new curriculum. But after sixteen months of not seeing my family and being told that the authorities were not going to even consider letting dependents in until February, I decided our Chinese adventure was at an end. So I am writing this post on the plane back to Vancouver.
It was a great four years but honestly the first two were the best. The things we achieved in those first two years were quite amazing. I wrote a pirate musical for Year 1, we put on loads of shows, events, competitions, bands, recitals – basically we made so much music. The last two years with a different manager were not as satisfying, as the focus switched away from performance to curriculum but that did mean I was able to finish my Key Stage 2 scheme where we have six units for each year group with a workbook, six powerpoint files and a medium term plan. These 24 units meant we moved away from presenting a Music curriculum to the children doing a Music curriculum. In the past, some children could coast through without paying attention, but the addition of the workbooks meant kids had to think harder about what they were doing.
I have no idea what to do next. I have a young family who need me and it looks like I will need to do something different. Currently its looking like remote piano teaching so we are looking at moving to New Brunswick where the time zone could make this possible as most my clients would be from China. I would consider another international Music job but realistically in the current climate it is going to be very hard to find one where they can afford to hire a teacher with three dependents. If you can, get in touch!
The last thing I will say is how much I love China, the language, the culture and the people. This place is absolutely fantastic and I know I am going to suffer from reverse culture shock when I get back to West. I hope one day to come back.