Tag Archives: music

Are you lot professionals?

grayscale piano keys

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Well the day finally came – the big brother was having his happy ever after. I was privileged to be playing for the service. 006 was of course involved, my baby cousin and another very good friend and some musical magic was made.

At the end of the service, some of the guests were complimenting us on the music and asked if we were professionals. We all laughed and said ” no, not at all. we are teachers”

Yet – being a teacher is a profession. We are professionals. Yet we don’t often think of ourselves in that way. Like the time I was speaking at a careers event and a woman said to me “oh yes, you are JUST a teacher” Aye hen – thank a teacher you can read. Just saying.

The music didn’t just happen because we had all be trained in our respective instruments and by all accounts can sight read music.

Ideas and versions of songs that would be most appropriate were kicked about via text message and you tube links. I did my usual of scribbling down some notes, 006 turned up with the sheet music printed and I quote “I know what you are like so I have printed it out for you” P came with the words printed in bold font and in a large size and L did everything on her phone.

There was a bit of time between rehearsals then another one. All were present and correct and the neighbours warned.

Another round of fine tuning, harmonies, recording, words and laughs – we were pretty much ready to go. Another rehearsal on the day.

The music for the ceremony was beautiful.

That happened because of the talented people I was playing with. Let’s not kid ourselves here – these people force me to up my game and make sure I read the music properly before taking any kind of creative licence with it. It happened because we didnt just read the music, we listened, explored, refined and rehearsed.

I have compared teaching and learning a lot to playing music with other people. I still find so many similarities it frightens me.

Then there is my Dad. He played with his band at the reception. Now HE is a pro. His quote? “Plug it in, turn it up and play”





This one’s for you darlin’

She’s my sweet little thing, she’s my pride and joy.

So all you Stevie Ray Vaughn fans will be singing along. I am going to be honest, it was my little lady, my pride and joy who introduced this song to me, I have written before on various occasions about the sacred time in the car with my dad when I was a student comparing tunes and taking about track of the week and he is pretty much responsible for the eclectic but wonderful array of music I listen to.
And it would appear, my daughter too.
We were escaping the city in the famous taxi of Grandad and my little lady starts singing along to this verbatim, slide notes, syncopation a bit of air guitar to boot, (Bonnie Rait style)
I kid you not.
I’ve not written about her too much lately because we have been having too much to be honest.
Towards the end of December we had a bit of a milestone. She’s had really bad stage fright for a long time and was singing in a big concert in December. I don’t mind saying I was on the edge of my seat to see what happened….what happened? Magic happened.
There she was with some of her friends in a chair of about 70 children. Singing with an adult choir and a full orchestra. Say what you like, but in that amount of people you can spot your own a mile away and I swear I could hear her sing.
I had the privilege of having my old infant headmistress and my parents with me who simply told me ” now you know how we felt”
Burst? I thought I was going to float out. This wasn’t just about singing, this was such a growth in confidence for my little lady and I could not have been more proud.
The holidays were a very chilled mix of sitting about in mermaid blankets together, making things, watching nonsense on the TV and save for a few occasions, not being more than about 10 feet apart.
We still found ourselves dancing in shops and talking twice as long to get anywhere as we had to talk to every dog on the way to our destination.
Like me, she was feeling a bit out of sorts about going back to school and she announced that she would like to be home schooled. Aye,if it was about strictly come dancing and mermaid history, or maybe shoe appreciation, then I am your woman.
Thinking about all the things I learned from my folks made me giggle and I was talking to the little lady about the different things I had learned from my parents.
Music ( playing and appreciation) from them both
Art – def mum. (Came home from my year abroad to a mural on my wall – in case I was missing the sunshine and flowers)
Spelling -Dad ( look it up in the dictionary)
Burns -Dad
Literature -Dad-murgatroid and the shinkickers…….his version of lord of the rings
Dancing – Mum ( all that jumping about in the kitchen)
Exercise -Mum…remember when everyone went mental for the Jane Fonda video?
There was plenty of other subjects that were beautifully covered too…..
However,what have I learned from my sweet little thing over the holidays? Hugs cure anything, sitting in your jammies till lunch time is fine, kung fu with your grandad is also acceptable, downloading games on the kindle for grandma is fine too.
And the little lady also reckons you always need new shoes too. Glittery ones. Imagine.

Memories . . . . .


My dad came out with something today that really hit home to me today. We were visiting his youngest brother who is having to go into residential care due to a degenerative condition and it was the first time I had seen him a while.
We chatted away with him and it was almost a privilege to witness the relationship between the two brothers. My dad chatted away about people and places and as we were travelling back to the city he told me that he and his sisters had to become the memories for my uncle.
I’m seeing my class again tomorrow for a wee revision afternoon and the memories I have from these children as some of the most special in my teaching career.
In my subject area there is a generation of people who don’t have have the happy memories they should about language learning but then sometimes we tend to block out the more challenging stuff.
It’s been great seeing my PGDE student teachers who have really listened to some of the things we have been doing in class- they way they either greet or dismiss every child by name, the way the bring the learners into the lesson and the wee things like the smiles or lovely words.
Last year I had the most fabulous chat with some of my favourite educationalists about reading and the need for children to have stories. I have the most lovely memories of story time at school and story time at home. My memories from primary school are pretty much dominated by books, music and certain teachers. And of course my partner in crime, C.
Secondary school, the memories are of 3 subjects: French, Spanish and Music. My partner in crime and a few other guest stars and the most wonderful teachers.
Every day gives us the potential to create memories for children,lovely ones.

If music be the food of love…..



Friday was a good day. Manolo points are thin on the ground at the moment as I couldn’t get my shoes on so it was off to work in trainers.
Sparkly ones of course.
I enjoy the time in the. On ring before school gets busy to turn up the music and potter about. The weans often start coming in from 730 and I now find that I am that teacher who doesn’t have a clue about the music they listen to. However, music is a big part of our department and a great way to surround the weans with the culture and language.

It suits me down to the ground as I grew up with music all around me.
A family of musicians meant an eclectic mix of genres and a lot of noise!
The tune on this post takes me back to my first year at uni and I came across it again the other night and it took me back to nights in front of the books and a concert many years later.
I had a section of my third years and we have come to a good arrangement where we all sit round a big table together and the tunes go on. It’s amazing to see them work away in a different dynamic and sing away.
Some of these boys can really Singapore! However, it is really interesting to see the calm and they are really productive. Certain songs will never be the same again!
The seniors were in later and we got Stromae on. I love the fact that the weans have got into French music ( and good music at that!)
Music plays such a big part of my life that it seems only normal its a big part of my teaching.
And if it’s too loud …….

Mammy points 10/10 the wee lady has great music taste
Methodology points 9/10 a brilliant day with the weans and lots of lovely work and music
Manolo points suspended due to dodgy feet