Reading & Research

I love to Reading & Research and I see it is vital for my own CPD. But where do you start and what can you read? In this 10 Minute CPD blog I want to share some of the things I have been reading recently to help me. Whilst reading & research will take longer than 10 minutes, hopefully this blog will give you some ideas and inspiration.


I believe that we are always learning. As a teacher I not only want to improve my subject knowledge, but I want to develop as a practitioner. Reading books about teaching might not be your usual fireside choice, but I personally enjoy them! And I actually find the process quite exciting and inspiring.

“James are you serious, read about teaching!”

Yeah I am, and I find it really does help me. Not only does it keep me thinking, but it makes what I do in the classroom even better. Reading a book about music history helps me develop my subject knowledge and I am then keen to share this with students. Books on pedagogy and curriculum then helps me with my planning and approach to teaching. I feel like it is something I need to do in order improve as a teacher. You may take more convincing, but I urge you to give one of these books a try! You never know, you might enjoy considering your own teaching!

What have I been reading?

There are so many great books out there and I can’t cover them all. So I will share with you some of the books I have been reading over the last year.

  1. Music: A Subversive History by Ted Goia – This was a great read and has given me such a insight into an alternative approach to music history. Well written, interesting and covering a huge range of musical styles, genres & traditions.
  2. Symbiosis: The Curriculum & The Classroom by Kat Howard & Claire Hill – This is a great book if you are looking to revamp, revive or refresh your curriculum. It has so many useful ideas and all backed up with easy to absorb research.
  3. Retrieval Practice: Research & Resources for every classroom by Kate Jones – I loved this book as I think retrieval practice is vital for every classroom. The ideas in this book work really well and it is easy to take them and implement them quickly.
  4. Rosenshine’s Principles in Action by Tom Sherrington – This was an easy read but also a challenging one. I have put so much of this into practice and I am still learning. It is a book I will keep referring to over the years. But it is easy to read and take on board and I am sure you will enjoy it and not get too overwhelmed!
  5. Handel in London: The Making of a Genius by Jan Glover – I love reading about composers and this book was fascinating. It isn’t too heavy, but paints a great picture of Handel and his time in London. I can’t believe how hard he worked!

There are 5 books to get you started, I am sure I will add more later. The key thing is to work out what you need to research. What are the areas of your teaching that need the most attention? Do you need to think about curriculum, behaviour management or pedagogy? Are you looking to enhance your knowledge or a specific composer or genre?

All the best with your reading & research. It is more fun than it sounds and it will have a positive impact. I must say that I also benefit from reading posts, tweets and blogs! Sometimes a tweet can speak 1000 words in just a few characters!

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