Sunday, 15 July 2012

Leeds and York

Dear Debs, in real life I am a peripatetic teacher and head of my department, but my casual attitude to earning a wage led me several years ago into the uncertain world of part-time permanent employment and a constant need to find extra weekly work.

It goes from one adventure to another. A few months of travelling round the Welsh valleys setting up the pans round Newport and Chepstow; a year getting to know opposite ends of Bradford; a term at West Leeds High School; a year at Primrose High School; a year in York, and of course workshops at conferences round the country, from Sunderland to Bristol, from Yarnborough to Sheffield and Stevenage. These thanks mostly to Carole Lindsay from the SMA [Schools Music Association] and to NAME [National Association of Music Educators].

It also led to a decade of very happy one or two days a week at City of Leeds High School. I was acting head of Department for half a year in 2004, but, with with the two Not-So-Smalls in Years 8 and 9 it just wasn't appropriate to stay on full-time. Anyway I managed to hang around there nearly for ever part-time and continue with my regular whirlwind tour of Hyde Park, Chapeltown and Armley.

This led me on Monday to spend the day with Carrie-ann and City's Yr 10 BTEC class. Students have to learn about such as setting up instruments, mikes etc and deciding repertoire and arrangements, and even wardrobe. So it was down in the Drama studio for the pans and the mikes and the amps; the students had changed into the agreed outfits [and Debs we, in Foxwood spent years wearing red and black!].

They were amazing: singers, guitarists; pannistes; drummer. Credit to Carrie-ann [from City] and Sophie [from ArtForms] for the singers. And these group of students come from Lithuania, France, Holland, Czech Republic, Poland, Sudan, Malaysia, Portugal, and of course some come from Little London and Chapeltown. Some only came to the UK during this their Year Ten. Ah, the power of the language of music.

Next day Tuesday I am in a school in York, for world arts immersion day. To cut down costs I was both driver and teacher. Then back to Leeds for Sparrows then Tuesday Steel evening class. Left home in Leeds at 7.30 am, got back home at 8 pm. [Failed miserably to upload a pic from my phone]

Next day Wednesday back to the day job and catching up. Debs, I am shattered.

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