A-Level CPD GCSE

Lessons in Focus on Sound

For GCSE Music teachers there is always the need for additional resources. Students learn in different ways, sometimes need to learn from home and might need to be left cover work. The Lessons in Focus on Sound Pro are a great way to support learning and give pupils something extra.

Gone are the days where we need to do everything from the front. Lessons in Focus on Sound are great for students to work independently. But they also sit nicely alongside classroom work because students can use them to check their knowledge and test themselves. And sometimes less teacher “chalk & talk” is a good thing! But I can’t imagine many people reading this did ever use chalk!

Lessons

Lessons are basically a collection of Focus on Sound pages that have been grouped together to deliver a particular topic, context of set work. They not only include pages to read and listen to, but also have questions and quizzes at the end to round off the learning process. Lessons are great because students can work through an entire topic or set work and then ensure that they have taken it all in using the tests. Lessons can be set using Google Classroom of Microsoft Teams and this allows you to easily track marks.

What’s on offer?

There is a huge range of lessons on offer in Focus on Sound Pro. Everything from theory based lessons to set works, historical periods to composers. All of the main exam boards are represented and you can quickly find the set works for each board.

Focus on Sound Lessons page

There is also a lesson index where you can quickly find a list of all the lessons available. Here is an example of the opening page for one of the Edexcel GCSE Music Lessons on Pathétique by Beethoven:

Focus on Sound lesson focussing on Beethoven Sonata Pathétique

As you can see, this lesson has seven sections and covers the entire set work. It also have two quizzes and a discussion question at the end. You may also notice the “Share” button at the top right of the page. I am linked with Microsoft Teams and so if I click on this share button, the lesson will automatically appear in teams. I can specify the class I want to share this with. More on sharing in a future blog.

How to Use Lessons effectively

As mentioned above, lessons can be quickly and easily shared with your online learning platform with just the click of a button. Using lessons doesn’t have to be restricted to home learning, but they are certainly great for setting homework. Lessons can also be used during curriculum time in class and students can work through a set work or key topic to check understanding. The key thing is consistently using them and then ensuring that any work is marked. The quizzes will self mark, but discussion questions need to be teacher assessed. This is an easy process and you can quickly work through a class, with answers suggested by FoS.

Create Your Own

If the extensive library of lessons isn’t enough for you then you can make your own lessons. This is a fairly simple process and it allows you to include the current FoS content, but in your own way.

For example, you may want to put together a lesson looking at a collection of theoretical terms linked to one of the set works. Maybe something on Perfect Cadences and Key Signatures.

  1. Click on My School at the top.
  2. Click on Custom Lessons and then “Add New”.
  3. Give your lesson a title and then select the Custom lesson check box
  4. Provide some introductory text and then titles for the first page and click on “Add Focus on Sound Content”
  5. This will take you to attach mode. Simply put, you are taken to the FoS dictionary area and you can search for content and attach it to the lesson. Simple and easy. Once you have added one bit of content, you can then add more. It is possible to add tests to the lesson as well, so this might be a good way of testing them on the content they have just studied.

Lessons in Focus on Sound

The lessons contained in Focus on Sound Pro are excellent for in class and home learning. They have sufficient content to keep students learning even if they are learning at home. And then there is the possible of creating your own lessons that you can use again and again. Linking with your learning platform is a great way to quickly share content and gather student marks and data.

For a more detailed over & guide to creating lessons in Focus on Sound Pro, please visit this website where they have tutorials and advice. I find these walkthroughs really useful in my own teaching. You can also find various user guides here.

If you have any questions about how to create lessons then please do get in touch and I would be more than happy to help.

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