ISM MUSIC JOURNAL SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
Professional development The Virtuoso Teacher with Paul Harris Saturday 1 December, 11am to 4pm Brunel’s Old Station, Clock Tower Yard, Bristol BS1 6QH Earlier this year we presented the seminar The Virtuoso Teacher in Birmingham, and due to high demand are repeating the session in Bristol this December. Here, Paul Harris outlines the ideas behind this inspiring day. ‘We have always conferred admiration, adulation and other kinds of star-qualities (often served up in large portions!) to the virtuoso performer. It’s about time we did the same for teachers – especially those who might desire to take their own teaching to virtuoso levels. ‘Virtuoso teachers are not virtuoso players who teach (though the virtuoso player may aspire to become a virtuoso teacher!); neither are they teachers who may teach the occasional virtuoso. ‘Virtuoso teachers teach as the virtuoso player plays: with a heightened sense of awareness, with passion and energy, profound involvement and genuine commitment. And they teach in such a way that their pupils really do learn. ‘It won’t require a particularly large amount of time or energy – just some serious reflecting on what we do, how and why we do it, and some serious questioning and challenging of received convention. Music matters – we don’t want to see our pupils give up their music, often having lost their initial love and enthusiasm for it. Yet many pupils do give up – and, to compound the situation, often having lost that love they once had for it. Why? It’s often a result of ‘mechanical’ teaching, going through the motions, not noticing the affect we might be having on our pupils.
Above: Paul Harris
‘This seminar will help teachers re-assess their work: it will look at many aspects of teaching and learning and ask some fundamental questions. Are there other ways of doing what we do? Are we really getting the best out of our pupils? ‘Teaching is a wonderful, invigorating and hugely responsible profession. After all, we are shaping the future with the skills, values and beliefs that we pass on to our pupils. We deserve equal status with the virtuoso performer. We should all want to become virtuoso teachers – this day’s seminar will set you on the path.’ This event is priced at £45 for ISM members (£10 for ISM student members), and £60 for non-members. The venue, Brunel’s Old Station, has been converted into a modern conference venue, and is situated next door to Bristol’s Temple Meads station. To book your place, please visit our website (ism.org/training/events), download a booking form to complete and return to us before 16 November, or call us on 020 7629 4413.
‘Very enthusiastic and engaging! You have given me a lot of inspiration for new thought in the classroom’ A member who attended The Virtuoso Teacher in May 2012
magazine of the Incorporated Society of Musicians