Last Friday, I had an early morning call out to a primary school that I had worked at 2 weeks previous. It’s a lovely school and has a really cheerful vibe to it. Anyway, a fortnight ago I was working in the Nursery with the 3-year-olds and during the morning for 20 minutes, we took them to practice their nativity assembly. A teacher that I shall call Mrs X, was accompanying the singing on a piano and I was pretty impressed with listening to her playing along. She was very very good. I happened to have a chance to speak to her afterwards and mentioned that it was so nice to see a teacher playing piano in a school, which is what was a commonplace thing that used to happen years ago when I was at school. There was always a teacher that played piano in assemblies, now the accompanying music is usually played through a computer with the words on a big screen in the hall. Mrs X told me that she was taught with her sister by their father who was also a pianist and she really appreciated the time and effort he put into teaching them, even though as I child she loathed it.
So now, moving on 2 weeks to the Friday just gone, I was called out early in the morning to work in this class of Reception children for the day, whose teacher was the Pianist called Mrs X. About 11 am, we took the children to the hall as they had a singing assembly which was a pretty regular thing for the school to do at this set time of the week.
The classes were arranged in a sort of square shape facing the middle of the hall where the Headteacher was centred and she could see everyone surrounding her. A good arrangement I thought. Foundation facing in one way, then the same for years 1 and 2, next side facing inwards was years 3 and 4 and then finally years 5 and 6. It was announced that they were going to practice the song’ Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ for a teacher that was retiring the following Monday. You must be aware that I hadn’t seen any of these rehearsals previous because I hadn’t been there for the last 14 days. Subsequently, Miss X, the piano woman extraordinaire, takes to the middle of the floor, gives directions to the teacher manning the background music on the big screen so the children could follow along, and proceeds to conduct the school as they sing the song in unison.
This may seem like a post without much meaning to you because you didn’t see it, nor did you hear it, yet I can only convey to you somehow how completely overwhelmed I was watching and listening to the way this impressive individual conducted the whole school with their singing. These children were harmonising together, certain classes were coming in at different times, they were in tune, there were bass notes and high notes from some of the little ones from the other side of the room. It worked beautifully and this excellent teacher did this arrangement all by herself. And this wasn’t just conducting a class of 30 kids, this was the whole school of around 300!
I have worked in many schools before and never seen children singing together as tight and harmonious as this. I was finding it difficult to hold back the tears because it was so emotional. I wanted to share this with you today because it reminded me of an inspirational teacher that I had when I was at school and I’ve never forgotten him.
Can you remember a teacher that Inspired or Impressed you?
Unfortunately, I cannot share the piece the children performed for obvious reasons, and I didn’t record it anyway. So I’ve shared a link to a band I really like so that you can listen to their version of ‘Have yourself a merry little christmas’.