It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I really do believe that, and I think that it is our chance as music teachers to shine! The preparation has all been done and we arrive at December ready to go. I have mentioned planning for Christmas in my previous blogs so do Catch up with September, October & November
What I do in December?
- Our school carol services are probably the biggest events in the calendar year. I therefore ensure that I put all my energy into making them incredible
- December is not about being perfect. When you are running around playing carols and organising events it is impossible to be perfect.
- In December you must put time aside to be at home and spend time with family. It is easy to just fill the diary.
- I support at least one local charity with music. You can’t support everyone, but you can do something.
- I make sure that I organise at least one fun event for the students who are working so hard in the department.
- Rehearsals in December need to be efficient, to the point and not too long.
- I keep parents informed about what is going on using a very detailed excel spreadsheet of events, dates, times etc.
- I make sure that I take students to local businesses to play carols as they are often more than happy to make a donation to the department.
The 12 benefits of Christmas
- December presents us with the chance to showcase the talent of our students both in school and out.
- You can get the whole school singing by organising carol service assemblies. I absolutely love it when all the students belt out Hark The Herald Angels Sing.
- It is entirely possible to raise some much needed funds for the department by performing carols for local businesses.
- The community loves to hear music and this means that your students can go out and play.
- Christmas carols are not all that difficult to play and therefore it will help boost the confidence of your younger or beginner students. Playing in an ensemble is so rewarding, and at Christmas time there are lots of opportunities for ensemble playing.
- What better way to gather parents, students and the local community than at a school carol service.
- Music also wins at Christmas and so you can really show that music has a place in your school.
- Lessons at Christmas time almost write themselves. There are countless examples of great pieces of music as well as the chart topping classics that provides hours of classroom entertainment. But in all seriousness there is a lot that can be learnt from most Christmas No. 1 hits.
- It gives us something to work towards when the nights draw in and the days get colder. The goal of performing a piece at a Christmas event is fantastic.
- School carol services can easily bring together students of all ages, and from different schools. Build community with your local schools by inviting them to perform.
- It is a chance to share some joy by taking a small group of singers or players to a local Care home, hospital or community centre.
- Christmas is great and the music we have at our disposal is wonderful.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
I really do love the festive season and I think that as music teachers it is our chance to really sell our departments and support our schools. But it is a very hectic time of year and so it is important to stay calm, positive and relaxed. This can be tough though, which is why planning is important. It is also important to not try and do everything on your own. Call on parents, colleagues and local musicians to help.
December is mad, but you will get to the end and look back on so many wonderful musical moments. For our students it is a chance to perform and contribute towards the joy of Christmas.
I hope that you have a wonderful December when it arrives. And hopefully you have already chosen some repertoire and started working on it!
Merry Christmas! And a Happy New Year!