In this blog post Anomaly are focusing on the exciting developments regarding Anomaly equipment and teaming up with the fantastic Rocksteady music school. At the start of the new year, we teamed up with Rocksteady music school to produce and plan videos which look at helping primary pupils address any mental health problems they may be facing and look at crucial life skills.
The first video in the series focuses on overcoming nerves. The video shows how even lead singers and top songwriters can be struck down with nerves. Tips on how to deal with the worry and the anxiety that comes with a daunting situation are all discussed in the video. We think it’s perfect for pupils during the stressful SATs period and contains some great advice for them to remember.
Anomaly had the pleasure to speak with Ben Millier, Schools Relationship Manager at Rocksteady to see what he had to say – so grab a cup of tea and read on!
Could you give us a bit of history about Rocksteady?
After years of teaching music in schools and privately, Rocksteady founder Mark Robinson discovered that the traditional way of learning an instrument, was turning many children away from the idea, meaning that they were unable to access the wider benefits of learning music. Recognising the need to break down barriers and teach music in a way which builds the whole child and not just their musical ability, he developed an innovative approach to teaching music which makes music more accessible to more children.
In 2007 he founded Rocksteady Music School teaching children to play in a band and learn through listening, copying and playing together rather than sight reading, scale exercises, and exams. Children also learn to play the songs they want to perform, ensuring persuasion is not needed, just enthusiasm harnessed in the right direction.
What kind of work are you doing with schools already?
Currently over 17,000 children in more than 650 primary schools across the UK experience weekly Rocksteady peripatetic lessons. All our Band Leaders are passionate about the art of teaching and are focused on building the whole person, developing confidence, happiness and independence. Lessons are child centred so pupils decide their role in the band, and then together they choose a band name and the song they want to play. During the process they also make group decisions on the arrangement and performance of the song. Learning to play their favourite songs in a band with their friends really motivates them to learn, overcome difficulties and achieve together.
Rehearsing in a band each week really is a fun way for pupils to develop life skills and it also fine tunes academic skills as well. The teamwork, listening and social skills required to master songs significantly increases memory, literacy and numeracy.
Throughout each term the bands work towards performing their song at the end of term concert which is a great chance to celebrate their success in front of their friends, families and the whole school. The concert is a wholly positive, confidence building experience which also really helps schools engagement with parents.
As well as lessons every year we visit hundreds of schools offering a free live music assembly to children across the country. For many pupils it is their very first experience of live music and it can completely be life changing. Last year alone over 200,000 children joined in a Rocksteady assembly.
What are the aims of Rocksteady?
To empower as many children as possible through music, ensuring lessons are always inclusive and accessible.
Music can be the key to unlocking the potential of those pupils who struggle the most in school – whether they have behavioural or emotional problems, challenging backgrounds, or simply come from families who aren’t so able to support them at home. So every school we teach in receives a free bursary place offering lessons to children who may not usually have access to music. There is also a generous pupil premium offer, which has generated many incredible stories showing how lessons have completely transformed children’s lives. A few of the many stories include: The drummer who has dyspraxia and struggled to write in class, but after a few lessons was suddenly picking up a pencil and writing their own song. There was also a guitarist with ADHD who really struggled at school, however almost overnight he became more focused in class and learnt how to make friends and work as a team. Recently there was also a child with autism who always felt like an outsider but joining his own band made him feel like he belonged. After the end of school concert everyone thought he was a real Rockstar and the children started to look up to him.
There are so many more emotive stories, which we hear every week, each one spurs us on to reach more children and help them transform their lives.
What are the future plans for Rocksteady?
We often talk about the ideal of “No child being left behind” ensuring every child can reach their full potential through music. With this is mind, we plan on moving into new areas within the UK, offering more free live music assemblies and talking to schools about the benefits that Rocksteady lessons can bring to their pupils.
Also, as part of the mission to empower as many children as possible through music, we will be organising regular foundation days, where the company dedicate time to teach children, who would not normally have access to lessons for free. Over 18 foundation days are planned for May, with music workshops being held in children’s hospitals and hospices, specialist schools, and primary schools in disadvantaged areas.
We’re always looking to connect with schools, charities and other organisations where we can provide life changing experiences to children / who can help us on our mission of empowering as many children as possible.
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We’ve got lots more videos planned, so keep an eye out for our videos with the fantastic RockSteady music school, coming to your screens soon!
If you would like to incorporate any Anomaly technology into your school, or find out more about our vast range of services in the education sector please do not hesitate to call us on 0844 579 0880 or alternatively you can email us on the usual address firstname.lastname@example.org
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