This week, all over the UK parents are getting their children ready for the new school year. Some, like my daughter, will be starting their very first day at school going into Reception. Others may be facing a year of important exams or heading off to boarding school for the first time. In another couple of weeks time, there will be those who have finished school and are now heading off to University to embark on the next stage of their learning journey.
All this occurs against a backdrop of grey skies & a light drizzle across most of the UK which heralds the arrival of autumn. This conjures up an image of conkers, wellies and afternoon tea by the fire. In fact for me, the best thing about autumn is the need to put a coat on.
Plans for Autumn Term
It is a myth that teachers get long holidays and spend most of the summer sitting on beaches around the world drinking tequila. Certainly the teachers I know spend quite a bit of their summer holidays planning for the school year ahead. Admittedly some of this planning might occur on a beach or in an Italian villa perhaps. This is because the autumn or michaelmas term is often one of the busiest particularly in terms of extra curricular activities.
Music Department events
When I was at school, michaelmas term meant lots of concerts to prepare for. Perhaps in part this is why it’s the longest term of the year, or certainly was back in my day. Even in September we would be dusting off the carols for choirs books ready for this years 9 lessons and carols in the school chapel. There was usually a number of concerts in the run up to the end of term and we might even find ourselves having to perform at another school or be part of an event in the village.
Heads of Music are therefore very busy people but despite this constantly on the look out for new challenges to keep their pupils on their toes and inspired to continue their musical education.
Recording a Christmas CD
It may not be the obvious choice, but increasingly schools are recording a Christmas album. A lot of Primary schools we work with will record a Christmas CD every year or perhaps bi-annually. This is not only a great experience for the pupils but is an excellent fundraiser for the school and very popular with PTAs.
As well as primary schools we also work with secondary and independent schools all over the UK. Consequently the autumn term, particularly from Mid October onwards is one of our busiest times of the year and we are often doing back to back recordings at schools for a few weeks at a time.