Saturday, 13 May 2017

HI, I would like to talk about the use of music in ballet classes, continuing where we left off from last Sunday´s morning talk. I find this topic very interesting as I see how different types of music influences the class atmosphere and motivation. I like to change the class music from the ”traditional” type of music for ballet classes to pop, jazz or whatever the pupils ask for. I was wondering when we were discussing this though, what are our experiences are with either a pianist or a playlist? I have used both  and I feel the difference is significant. With a pianist, it is almost like the pupils ”remember” that they are in a ballet class, maybe because they associate her with playing for them? They seem to maintain the classical style. With a playlist, the class is very different as it almost becomes a jazz class! Could this be because their association with a playlist is influenced by their free time, interest in music or being a teenager/young adult? Their movements become freer and the quality changes. They is no doubt that the contrast in the music has an effect. I am aware when making a class to pop music that I need to try and find music that will bring out the same aesthetics as the movements/exercises they are used to, I´m not always successful in that! Could that contribute to their change in style or difference in their musical quality?

As a result of this conversation, the past week I´ve been asking my pupils how often they would like to have non-classical music for their classes. I was really surprised as the majority said they enjoyed having it as a ”special treat” but would not want it frequently. A couple even commented that it was also the classical music that motivated them to do ballet!

Does anybody have any thoughts on this topic, would love to hear them!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Hi Everyone, I have recently finished teaching a group of students in higher education and have been reflecting a lot about recent events. Working towards their exam class, which was taught and practised over a six-week period, they asked me if they could have a” fun and cosy class”, as some thought this would motivate them towards their exam. This in turn, has me reflecting and thinking about my role as a” motivator” at this level. Teaching at recreational level I will often alter my class either by changing the music (swapping classical for pop music), allowing them to swap their uniform for colourful dance clothes, bring a friend day, etc. The list is endless as we know, but should the role as motivators to our pupils and students stop at a certain point? At a higher level of education is their motivation not intrinsic? Are they not there because they want to enter the profession? I think back to my education, and of the tedious repetition of doing syllabus class day in day out for years, yet on a” low” period, we all had to find ways of motivating ourselves. Has education and society changed, so we now have more responsibility to motivate our students even when they are adults? With more focus on students taking responsibility for their own learning and becoming autonomous learners, I would presume that self-motivation is an element of this. Providing a safe learning environment is the responsibility of the educators, but surely the students to need to accept a certain amount of responsibility? I have no objection dropping a technique class for something else that day, but should a” cosy” class motivate them towards their exam? I would think that an exam is a motivating factor.

I would love to hear any opinions on this subject as it has me a little perplexed and questioning what is my role as a teacher at this level.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Working on module 2 has me continuously thinking and wondering. Still indecisive about my research topic I have been throwing myself into reading different articles, and I have to admit that I believe I have been living in my own bubble for some time. With my blinkers on, I have had a strong opinion of what I consider dance is and how it should be taught. Ive always thought about myself being open-minded and embracing change, but I see this may not be the case. In todays world where dancers have to be adaptable and versatile, I wonder why I havent adapted (or have I and dont acknowledge it?) Is it time for change on a higher level (what harm would it do to try?).

Speaking to my advisor last time, I aired my concerns that my topic may have some consequences which could affect me. I am, of course jumping to conclusions as I dont know the outcome. So Ive been questioning what truth is.  My perception of truth is connected with my world, my reality and what I believe to be right or wrong. But my world has changed dramatically over the past years, yet Im still living and working in my truths of yesteryear. Working deeper for this module I am trying to expand my horizons and question what do I actually know, and am I certain of it? If not, is it such a crisis? Knowledge is ongoing, never ceasing to stop, this I have to keep in mind.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Hello Everybody!  After the Skype meeting yesterday I am feeling a little apprehensive about what module 2 is going to hold for me. I have been feeling up and down about it, and I don´t know why. I learnt so much about myself and my practice in Module 1 but this module is daunting to me. I wonder if I feel ”safer” when I am talking and writing about myself, I expect because I am not treading on anybody´s toes so to speak.

I received feedback that I need to be more critical and maybe it is this I am troubled over (yes, I know it is a major point at Masters level!). What if my opinions are silly or ridiculous, not worthy of the paper they are written on? How can I think deeper and not just on the surface? What if someone confronts me about my views, could I stick up for my beliefs or would I ”keep the peace?” These are questions that I seem to be reflecting on. Module 1 didn’t just make me reflect on me as a teacher but also as a human being. Recent events have made me think about my personality, which in turn has had me reflecting on my beliefs and views both professionally and personally.

I have been thinking about a topic and I am indecisive. I know I want to pick a topic that interests me, and will have an impact on my future practice but what? I enjoyed writing a particular AOL and this maybe a possibility, but the challenge is to find literature. I had difficulty finding sufficient literature for the AOL so how will a research paper go?

Maybe it is to go with my gut feeling and tackle these issues when and if they occur. This surely is part of the process?

I would love to hear anybody's thoughts!


Luckily I had not posted this before I went to work, and reading it back I can see how this reads. I’m realising that this journey is not just about my practice but opening my horizons and exploring more and developing. Maybe there is a reason there isn´t so much literature on my choice of topic, maybe it hasn´t been written about before? That could be exciting, researching an area which has not been explored and researched. What could I contribute, that is an exciting question!