Practicing what you preach

Posted on November 12, 2016

In September I was invited to deliver an afternoon of CPD for the staff of Wakefield Music Education Hub. My brief was to follow on from a session that I had led with the Wakefield team and their colleagues from Kirklees, Calderdale and Bradford Hubs a year or so ago.

It was great to go back and recap and develop some of the ideas and starters for improvisation and composition with whole class groups I had introduced on my previous visit. Even more fun was finding out about all the creative ways that the staff in the room had developed and adapted the ideas I had introduced them to.

Since that CPD session in September, I can honestly say I’ve used every one of the ideas I shared with that group of staff in my own practice.

I’ve used the improvisation and composition ideas with the Wharfe Valley Cluster in Bradford on composition workshop days (one with Y4/5/6/7, and one with Y2). I’ve developed them in new ways, used the ideas that the teachers fed back to me in September. I’ve responded to challenges in the classroom to find new ways forward.

I’ve used the vocal warm ups with groups large and small, adapted them for older and younger children and shorter and longer sessions.

I always love delivering CPD and working with professional colleagues, but I think it’s really valuable to be able to say I practice what I preach. I never go in to a room of colleagues – specialists, or non-specialists – thinking that I know best. I share my knowledge, experience and opinion, and facilitate my peers to share their own. And I share ideas which I’ve tried, which have succeeded and which I, and groups I’ve worked with, have found useful and enjoyed.

Do you practice what you preach? Does whoever led your last CPD session?