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Help, I need a cover lesson!

We are at some point going to need cover. We might be off sick or attending a conference. Setting cover isn’t always easy, particularly with a practical subject like ours. My colleague recently needed cover and we both looked no further than Focus on Sound.

Where to start?

We wanted to ensure curriculum continuity therefore decided to go into Focus on Sound and create a lesson that brought together their learning so far. For us this included looking at triads, chord progressions and pop-song structures. In Focus on Sound you can build lessons from scratch, so we did just that.

Students love a quiz

The word quiz is a slightly more “enjoyable” word compared to test, but they are essentially the same thing. For this cover lesson we made sure that we also added in a “quiz” so that they could check their learning. This also gave us a clear picture that the cover work was completed to a good standard.

One thing to remember is that not all students will get through everything, so you might like to ensure there are additional quizzes along the way. You could also create different lessons that provided some differentiation for your class.

Great Cover Work

Great cover work is quite simply anything that is going to build on their learning, keep them busy and avoid any issues for the cover teacher. Once students are logged on to Focus on Sound and completing a lesson, they are much more likely to stay engaged. There is nothing worse than upsetting a colleague who is sitting with your class, so try to see the cover teacher beforehand to give them a quick crash course on how the students should login.

Watch this video about creating an assignment which can be used for a cover lesson.

About James Manwaring

James is the Director of Music for the Windsor Learning Partnership Multi-academy Trust. He has held the post of Head of Music at The Windsor Boy's School for over 15 years. James is currently the President-Elect of the Music Teachers Association.