Preparing for Secondary Music Teacher Training Watch

tomthedankngine
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#1
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#1
Hey everyone,

I’ve just finished my first year of a BA Music degree, and I’m thinking of going into secondary teaching after I graduate, as I love my subject and have enjoyed working with that age group in the past. I know this is early days but I’m not really sure where to start in terms of preparations.

Firstly in terms of performance, I’m a singer (grade 8) and should be fine with auditions, but would I need a second instrument? I also play the piano at approx grade 5 level (but haven’t taken the exam), though I haven’t had lessons for a while (I’m thinking of starting again soon). Do you need to have good keyboard skills for a secondary pgce?

Is it a good idea to try and get some work experience in schools at some point?

Finally, what are your opinions on Teach First and unis for PGCEs? TF are always on campus promoting themselves and it looks quite good, but I’ve heard a number of people criticise it. Do you think PGCEs are a better route? If so, which unis do you think are good?

Many thanks
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shadowdweller
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(Original post by tomthedankngine)
Hey everyone,

I’ve just finished my first year of a BA Music degree, and I’m thinking of going into secondary teaching after I graduate, as I love my subject and have enjoyed working with that age group in the past. I know this is early days but I’m not really sure where to start in terms of preparations.

Firstly in terms of performance, I’m a singer (grade 8) and should be fine with auditions, but would I need a second instrument? I also play the piano at approx grade 5 level (but haven’t taken the exam), though I haven’t had lessons for a while (I’m thinking of starting again soon). Do you need to have good keyboard skills for a secondary pgce?

Is it a good idea to try and get some work experience in schools at some point?

Finally, what are your opinions on Teach First and unis for PGCEs? TF are always on campus promoting themselves and it looks quite good, but I’ve heard a number of people criticise it. Do you think PGCEs are a better route? If so, which unis do you think are good?

Many thanks
Hi there, sorry you've not had any responses to this yet - just giving it a quick bump, so hopefully someone will be along soon!

04MR17 and SarcAndSpark might be able to offer some clarity on this too :yep:
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04MR17
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(Original post by tomthedankngine)
Hey everyone,

I’ve just finished my first year of a BA Music degree, and I’m thinking of going into secondary teaching after I graduate, as I love my subject and have enjoyed working with that age group in the past. I know this is early days but I’m not really sure where to start in terms of preparations.

Firstly in terms of performance, I’m a singer (grade 8) and should be fine with auditions, but would I need a second instrument? I also play the piano at approx grade 5 level (but haven’t taken the exam), though I haven’t had lessons for a while (I’m thinking of starting again soon). Do you need to have good keyboard skills for a secondary pgce?

Is it a good idea to try and get some work experience in schools at some point?

Finally, what are your opinions on Teach First and unis for PGCEs? TF are always on campus promoting themselves and it looks quite good, but I’ve heard a number of people criticise it. Do you think PGCEs are a better route? If so, which unis do you think are good?

Many thanks
I think (and I'm not an expert) that your musical ability is not the most important thing here, that there likely isn't so much of an "audition" as there will be an interview and an observed thing (it varies) with some children. Work experience is pretty essential so I'd focus on that. If you fancy sitting a piano exam (maybe grade 4 to make things easier?) then that'll help you as I think some keyboard skills would be useful for your teaching career, not just fulfilling a secondary PGCE.

The way I see it (and I am biased) Teach First is designed to plug a gap in the education system. We have a teacher shortage so TF is there to attract "good" graduates to go into schools, teach for a few years then move on. PGCE is more of a useful qualification which will serve you well if you see teaching as a long-term thing. Where you do it doesn't make a huge amount of difference as the training will be broadly the same wherever you go. Think about where's convenient for you: whether you want to stay near where you're currently studying, or somewhere close to home, or somewhere else; then research particular institutions and how good their school links are.

I hope this helps. Have I missed anything?
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markova21
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Hello. Is someone with a PDGE only qualified to teach in England? I was looking at the Teach First website. Here in Northern Ireland most people do the PGCE Primary or Secondary. So to teach in a primary school in Northern Ireland, would studying for the PDGE in England be a worthless qualification?
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tomthedankngine
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Hi,

Thank you very much for your reply, it was very useful. Sounds like the best thing to do is organise some work experience, is the best way to do that just to contact local schools?

I found your comments about Teach First interesting, and the “short term” nature of it is something that I agree with; I’m not a fan of all these internships they offer, it seems to detract from teaching.

I’m thinking of staying at (or near) my current university; they don’t offer a conventional Music PGCE but do offer a School Direct PGCE; do you have any opinions on School Direct?

Many thanks
(Original post by 04MR17)
I think (and I'm not an expert) that your musical ability is not the most important thing here, that there likely isn't so much of an "audition" as there will be an interview and an observed thing (it varies) with some children. Work experience is pretty essential so I'd focus on that. If you fancy sitting a piano exam (maybe grade 4 to make things easier?) then that'll help you as I think some keyboard skills would be useful for your teaching career, not just fulfilling a secondary PGCE.

The way I see it (and I am biased) Teach First is designed to plug a gap in the education system. We have a teacher shortage so TF is there to attract "good" graduates to go into schools, teach for a few years then move on. PGCE is more of a useful qualification which will serve you well if you see teaching as a long-term thing. Where you do it doesn't make a huge amount of difference as the training will be broadly the same wherever you go. Think about where's convenient for you: whether you want to stay near where you're currently studying, or somewhere close to home, or somewhere else; then research particular institutions and how good their school links are.

I hope this helps. Have I missed anything?
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tomthedankngine
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Hi,

My understanding is that most schools require a PGCE/PGDE or equivalent so you should be fine with a PGDE. If anything a PGDE would be more attractive to schools as it is worth slightly more credits (though realistically most schools wouldn’t care).
(Original post by markova21)
Hello. Is someone with a PDGE only qualified to teach in England? I was looking at the Teach First website. Here in Northern Ireland most people do the PGCE Primary or Secondary. So to teach in a primary school in Northern Ireland, would studying for the PDGE in England be a worthless qualification?
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04MR17
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(Original post by tomthedankngine)
Hi,

Thank you very much for your reply, it was very useful. Sounds like the best thing to do is organise some work experience, is the best way to do that just to contact local schools?

I found your comments about Teach First interesting, and the “short term” nature of it is something that I agree with; I’m not a fan of all these internships they offer, it seems to detract from teaching.

I’m thinking of staying at (or near) my current university; they don’t offer a conventional Music PGCE but do offer a School Direct PGCE; do you have any opinions on School Direct?

Many thanks
:hi:

Correct. :yy:

Fair enough, it suits some people but didn't for me.

Schools Direct is pretty much that, it's a lot more involved in a school (I'm not sure whether it's one placement or two, I think it's one) and it tends to be the school that takes part in interviewing, rather than just a university/other provider. The advantages are that if they like you, they could give you a job - and if you like the school it's a big bonus! The disadvantages are you don't get the same flexibility with placements and you can't escape for a year if you hate the school!

Most welcome :hat2:
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