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July 22, 2007

Week 9 down

I've just completed my NINTH week in Australia! Technically this is my seventh week completed of teaching, but I can't believe that it's been over two months since I've arrived.

The first week back from term break has been a great one. I've started up at Rangeview Primary, and the school is fantastic. I'm working with a couple of really special teachers who really have creative minds and hearts for the kids. The students are also great, and it's fun working in a positive and 'have-a-go' environment. So far, I've had a part in working with their marching band, concert band, individual and group lessons and classroom music. The marching band is tons of fun, and for tomorrow's rehearsal (Number two of only FOUR before a performance for the entire school at assembly!), we'll learn horns up and initiating the first step. It should be a lot of fun and the kids should pick it up pretty quickly; they've already gotten a taste of marking time in a block, so tomorrow we'll introduce instruments, and next week we'll try marching and playing, and the week after they'll perform it! The concert band is also the marching band, and it's been fun to watch them rehearse and conduct. Primary students are surprisingly fun, because they're often so much smarter than I anticipate.

One interesting thing at Rangeview is how they run individual lessons. Students must pay for individual lessons, and they can either take lessons from music staff at the school or through a company called "Mad on Music", or MOM for short. MOM sends trained teachers into schools, and they follow a program to get kids going on either keyboard or guitar. The program is very detailed and follows a specific weekly plan which ends with a large concert at the end. I had the opportunity to sit in on a few of the lessons, and it was pretty fun.

Well, I'm off to plan out tomorrow's rehearsal and classroom plans. I've found that 'rehearsing' exactly what I'm going to say works WONDERS in my confidence and speaking in front of the kids, and I definitely get my point across much clearer. For any of you that have heard me talk, you probably know that I can be a little quick and unclear! I'm working hard at it now so hopefully in the future it will be automatic!

My best,

July 13, 2007

We're Back to Melbourne!

Hey everyone,

I TRULY need to apologise for not updating in so long! Amy and I spent 6 days in North Queensland in a beautiful tropical city called CAIRNS ('Cans'), and we returned to Melbourne only yesterday. Internet is not necessarily difficult to come by in the north, but my time was much better spent on the beach, snorkeling, and sea kayaking than blogging.

The trip was nothing short of amazing, and it was a good chance to catch up on some summer break with decent weather and relaxation. The Great Barrier Reef was, well, great, and I even saw a SHARK! Nice little bloke, though, along with all the rest of the colourful fish and coral, including the Little Nemo clown fish and anemones!

We also were able to fly into Sydney and hang around for a couple of days before coming home. It was nice to see the Opera House and other things, but the weather was certainly no where near that of Cairns!

Check out the pictures Amy uploaded here:




Coming up next Monday, I'll start the school term at a new primary school called Rangeview. I'll work with the wee ones teaching lessons and helping with ensembles, and we may even start up a mini-marching band which will be nothing short of hilarious. Only four weeks and a couple of days left for my time here in Oz, which will certainly fly!

I can't wait to come home and see all of you again! It'll be mid-August before we all know it. Keep visiting this site, as I'll most likely continue to update throughout the remainder of my time here.

Much Peace and Love,