Teaching the students

WAMers  are expected to attend the school at times to be agreed for up to 30 hours per week in order to give individual, one to one lessons and collective lessons to designated pupils. The first instrument is the piano / keyboard and proficiency to grade 8 standard piano is a prerequisite. Most WAMers, however, will also teach a second instrument or singing or help with choirs.

Each school is different, so the lessons will be given in a style and format to be discussed and agreed between the school and the musician, broadly to achieve the following :

  • Broaden understanding of western classical music beyond examination syllabi
  • Encourage enjoyment of playing in ensembles and exploring unusual repertoire
  • Increase stylistic awareness of classical performing traditions
  • Develop technical ability through new exercises and technique concepts
  • Enhance musicianship skills beyond keyboard
  • In most schools, WAMers will play a key role in putting on a concert and will themselves have the opportunity to perform
By mutual agreement these lessons may include, for instance:
  • Multi-hand ensemble coaching
  • Improvisation sessions
  • Performance platforms
  • Group musicianship games
  • Theory classes
  • Repertoire demonstrations
  • Presentation/discussion of the history of Western classical music


Teacher workshops

Experience shows that maximum effectiveness is achieved by building relationships with local teachers at the earliest possible stage, if possible through teacher workshops covering such topics as music history, theory, composition and different teaching techniques. In many cases, such workshops prove very popular, ensure a lasting legacy and help to build trust. 

In addition, by agreement, the musician will arrange discussions with the permanent teachers at the school with a view to contributing wherever possible to their own professional development.



Outreach

By necessity, WAM’s partners are fee paying schools where Western music is taught and, by definition, most of the pupils thus come from relatively affluent families.

We thus encourage WAMers to reach out to the wider community, primarily through workshops for normal state schools, often arranged through our contacts with the British Council. Past WAMers have also worked with organisations supporting the underprivileged, including in slum areas.