Understand Own Role and Responsibilities in Lifelong Learning
I teach on CMP (Creative music producer) and PM (Performing musician) level 2 and 3 courses.
These courses are covered by the Creative Studies department of the college and are accredited by the National Open College Network.
After completion of the first year students should expect to achieve an NOCN (National Open College Network Advanced) Certificate and an NOCN Advanced Diploma upon completion of their second year.
This will then allow them the option to progress to Higher Education and a head start on a career in the Music Industry.
There are no formal qualifications needed to gain a place on the level 2 courses but learners must have some past musical experience and if applying for a level 3 courses students need to have a GCSE in English or equivalent.
However learners can join a level 3 courses if progressing from a level 2 courses.
In my career as a teacher I have to comply with a set of professional standards and core values. Life Long Learning UK and The Institute have devised these standards for learning. (Appendix 1)
The Institute for Learning (IfL) is the professional body for teachers, trainers and assessors across further education (FE), including adult and community learning, emergency and public services, FE colleges, the armed services, the voluntary sector and work-based learning (www.ifl.ac.uk).
The Institute for Learning requires that all FE teachers register as members in order to continue working within the sector. As well as issuing a code of professional practice they also require teachers to continually update and evaluate their skills, this continual professional development (CPD) must then be evidenced through the Reflect section of the Institute for Learning’s website. Teachers who do not adhere to these standards will lose their membership and therefore their right to teach in FE.
At one level, to describe someone as a professional is to say that they get paid for what they do. However, there is also another fairly loose sense in which the term is used to describe a job done well, with care and commitment.
“Professionality and professionalism are the requirements in a particular class or category of occupation which is usually taken to include doctors, lawyers and teachers.” (Carr 2000: 22).
Life Long Learning UK (LLUK) outlines a set of professional standards for teachers that are:
Teachers in the lifelong learning sector value:
The practice of teaching is underpinned by a set of professional values that should be observed by all teachers, tutors and trainers in all settings. This domain sets the standards for these values and their associated commitments.
All learners, their progress and development, their learning goals and aspirations and the experience they bring to their learning.
Learning, it’s potential to benefit people emotionally, intellectually, socially and economically, and its contribution to community sustainability.
Equality, diversity and inclusion in relation to learners, the workforce, and the community.
Reflection and evaluation of their own practice and their continuing professional development as teachers.
Collaboration with other individuals, groups and/or organisations with a legitimate interest in the progress and development of learners.
They are committed to:
The application of agreed codes of practice and the maintenance of a safe environment.
Improving the quality of their practice.
These set of standards highlight that every learner should be included and given an equal chance to succeed and progress. It is important that all learners are treated as individuals and that they are not discriminated against because of age, gender, race and educational backgrounds and learning difficulties.
Understand own responsibility for maintaining a safe and supportive learning environment
As teachers we have to ensure that the learning environment is a safe place for learners. Risk Assessments of all areas within the department need to be carried out, these are designed to identify any potential hazards the learner may encounter.
Areas of legislation that I have to take into account are:
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
The recording studio can be a dangerous environment; accidents involving high voltage equipment and trip hazards can occur if health and safety is not taken into consideration.
Rehearsal is another area where health and safety needs to be taken into consideration. An un-amplified drum kit alone can be produce a volume that through prolonged exposure can damage hearing. As a precaution, all learners are issued with ear protection before they rehearse.
Manuel Handling Operations Regulations 1992
Musical equipment, especially amplification can often be heavy. If not correctly handled, this equipment can cause injury. During induction learners are shown the correct procedure for handling equipment.
The setup and layout of the classroom is always very important when it comes to guitar lessons.
I try and keep guitar lessons to groups of around five learners.
Each learner sitting with a guitar and amplification takes up considerable space. It is important to seat them evenly apart with enough space to avoid any collisions.
There is also the danger of trailing cables that are avoidable by placing the amplifiers flush to the wall and having the learner’s chairs directly in front of them. This minimises the distance between learner and equipment reducing the length that cables have to travel.
From the very beginning of meeting students I take the approach that nobody is a complete guitarist, everyone has some interesting development in their technique that other people will not have. Occasionally I will ask a learner to show me the way they are playing something, if it’s a method I’ve not come across I’ll ask them to show me, this empowers the learner because they’ve taught me something.
Occasionally if I have a learner who isn’t confident and thinks they are inferior to the rest of the group I’ll ask them to show me a method even if I’m familiar with it. This helps to them confidence and I always see an increase in participation afterwards.