Teaching process - the teaching artist
Our teaching process is all about a process of excellence: In every program there will always be a minimum of three main teaching artists who are trained not only in the Symphony For Life principles, but also in such programs as Kodaly, Orff and or Suzuki teaching programs – or something similarly suited to the teaching of music to children. They are also artists – and perform as professional musicians. They will always at the program each day. Other musician tutors will come in at certain times to work with the orchestra in different capacities – some as instrument specialists and others in music studies, percussion and choral work.
There could be up to eight teachers working with the children at various times during the week. It is a high-energy and fun process, which also can transform the teaching artists and tutors: very much a positive feedback loop process.
The teachers and tutors will be selected, trained and employed by the Symphony For Life Foundation, and will reside in or near the community to which they serve.
If you are interested in becoming a Symphony For Life teaching artist or tutor, please contact us here.
Symphony For Life utilises a very different teaching model – group 'learning by doing'. Everyone is enrolled in the orchestra as a musician from day one. All musicians are taught 'on-the-job' and as a group. This is a powerful way of teaching and a natural way of learning. It means that the children learn at the same general rate and time, and are taken through as a cohort – together – rather than individually.
A sense of togetherness develops rapidly and also children start to help each other – if one child learns something better or faster than another, they start (naturally) to pass this on to their peer. Everyone comes up together to a single standard – no one is left behind. For any who do struggle, however, remedial teaching is done in small groups until they learn the skill and music. We also partner any child who needs a special mentor to help them. The rule is always: Music first, refinement later.
Field volunteers to help
The field volunteer members will be very important, particularly in the early stages of the orchestra development, to help co-ordinate the children and look after any issues that arise – of which there will be typically many! As time goes on their role will shift from ‘marshalling’ and organising, to guiding and assisting. And they will also serve as an audience for the children too! Often in such programs, the volunteers are parents and this is to be encouraged as it engages them more with their children, but we also take music student and general volunteers as well.
If you are interested in volunteering please contact us here.