In the 25 years I have been teaching secondary music finding good music teaching resources has always been a challenge.
Very few people write academic music books, particularly for KS3 (middle years) which is a great shame. When you do find books and resources, a lot of it is aimed for students already learning musical instruments. If you teach in schools where there has been little music at the primary level these resources can be too theory heavy and too difficult. However, with a little bit of imagination (and editing) you can make topics and tasks work.
So where else can you find good resources for secondary music?
The other places I like to look are the exam boards – whether that is the academic music curriculum (GCSE, IB, A Level, AP, etc), or whether it is practical music exam boards such as ABRSM, Rock School, Trinity, etc.
All of the exam boards are trying to increase their courses and resources. I particularly like the development of musical theatre courses over the last few years. I have always been a fan of the Rock School exam board materials. I think the tab / notation / backing tracks are great to help students met the requirements of exam classes and I love that some of the tracks are the same across instruments so that the music can double up as ensemble music. This is so great for GCSE and Post-16 courses and I hope that in the future years the exam boards expand on this.
Even if your students don’t take the practical music exams, the other wonderful thing about referring to the exam board syllabuses is there is music repertoire for all ages and ability level. There is a wide range of genres, time periods and age appropriate music for each ability level. Lots of this transitions into the general classroom and extra-curricular ensembles easily. So I strongly recommend you look into this as a resource bank.
I hope this gives you a few ideas. For more information on this topic check out my latest Youtube video!
And don’t be afraid to share your resources on TPT and TES. You can help a lot of colleagues!
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