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Teachers learn to use music in class

Published:Wednesday | April 24, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Music teacher Sam Wisdom explains to teachers from the Seaward Primary and Junior High School how to find the right keys on this musical instrument. - Contributed PHOTOS
Teachers from the McIntosh Memorial Primary School in Land Settlement, Manchester, embark on different types of mathematical concepts during the two-day workshop put on by First Global Bank, First Global Financial Services and the Ministry of Education as part of their joint Music: Perfect Pitch for A Sound Education programme.
The faces of Leshia Carr (left) and Samantha Baker-Bent, teachers of Seaward Primary and Junior High School, register bright smiles during the two-day workshop.

Well-known musicologist Sam Wisdom has encouraged a group of teachers from different sections of the island to ensure that their students grasp their lessons through the infusion of music.

Wisdom was conducting a two-day training workshop with more than 50 teachers at the first segment of the 2013-14 Music: Perfect Pitch for a Sound Education programme, which is a joint initiative among GraceKennedy's First Global Bank (FGB), First Global Financial Services (FGFS) and the Ministry of Education (MOE).

A trained music teacher, Wisdom emphasised that it has been proven that music plays a significant role in children's overall educational development, particularly during the early stages of their schooling.

The workshop was held on April 16 and 17 at the Alhambra Inn in Kingston, and was funded by FGB and FGFS.

The music programme was initially rolled out in six primary schools in Kingston, Manchester and St James in October 2011. It was aimed at targeting students at the grade-three level to better enable them to master numeracy and literacy through music.

The project was scheduled to end last October, but because of its success, teachers requested that it be continued. Consequently, four additional schools in Mandeville and Kingston were added.

"Children who learn music develop self-confidence, and if you teach them literacy and numeracy utilising music, they will never forget it. What we have to teach children is how to memorise and recall.

"Go to the class with a lesson plan, but also be open-minded," Wisdom stressed.


Using role play on day one, Wisdom informed the teachers that as a teacher-student team, they would examine the art of music, first by learning and understanding it and then putting their knowledge into practice to better prepare them for their return to the classrooms.

Among the schools benefiting from the project are the John Rollins Success Primary and the Bickersteth Infant and Primary in St James; McIntosh Memorial Primary, Villa Road Primary and Junior High, and the Mandeville Primary and Junior High in Mandeville, Manchester; as well as the Duhaney Park Primary, Tarrant Primary, Pembroke Hall Primary, Seaward Primary and Junior High, and Central Branch All-Age schools.