Online learning has given a huge boost to traditional music teachers in the Laois, Offaly and Westmeath region. Results from a joint ETB and Music Generation course shows that 90% of participants felt ‘really confident’ about their music teaching after completing the course. A further 10% felt ‘super confident.’
The course was delivered by online traditional music teaching expert and Donegal fiddler, Liz Doherty, who runs her own dedicated platform for trad music teachers. “The course went really well and I am delighted with the results”, says Liz. “It was great to work with such a fantastic group of young teachers – the energy and enthusiasm, week after week, was just brilliant.”
Liz was invited to run the course by Laois Offaly ETB, Music Generation Laois and Music Generation Offaly-Westmeath. She’s been teaching Irish traditional music for over 30 years and says trad teachers need more support.
“There is no curriculum or syllabus for teaching or learning traditional Irish music. While that is part of its magic, the downside is that everybody is left to figure it out for themselves – what to teach, and how to teach it. This is why I designed a set of tools and supports to help these teachers do their job more easily and effectively.”
Details of the Traditional Music Teachers Course
The course was delivered over 6 Saturday mornings during February and March. Liz says she worked with the traditional music teachers to focus on priority areas. These included issues like planning and designing classes, adapting teaching to student needs, and using new ideas and tools in your teaching.
Supports for Traditional Music Teachers
“On a practical level, by the end of the course, each teacher had their own framework for teaching Irish Traditional Music. They also had a Teachers Toolkit, with lots of ideas strategies and practical tips to help deliver great teaching.”
“Teachers also learned how to reflect, to measure quality and progress in their students and to give and receive feedback. These are important skills as they allow both teachers and students to keep on developing.”
Feedback from Traditional Music Teachers
I was delighted with both how well the course went and the results we achieved together. At the start of the course 50% of the participants felt confident about teaching traditional music. After just 6 weeks, 90% felt really confident about teaching traditional music, and a further 10% felt super confident.
Here’s what some of the course participants had to say:
“A really thought-provoking approach to teaching traditional music, incorporating life skills development and personal development for students and teachers. Would recommend to anyone interested in teaching trad – to new and experienced teachers!”
“Very insightful 6 week. Liz encouraged us to consider our approaches to teaching traditional Irish music in a new, informative way. I learned a wealth of information and valuable tips. I feel equipped to teach the Irish traditional musicians of today effectively as a result.”
“Very enjoyable, learned loads, and importantly has given rise to more questions that I can go think about. We need to keep reflecting and adapting because the day we think we’ve mastered it shouldn’t ever come!”
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