Sounds from beyond the Shed – Week 89

Life skills really are just that

Natalie Merchant at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Soft skills for an employable, healthy future

This last week has seen the school return (at last) to showcasing its musicians in a formal free-to-enter concert and this time the music was interspersed with dramatic pieces or poetry and it was a fabulous thing to behold. Following on from last week’s missive about the importance of Art as a restorative or inspiration for ways of living beyond the grindstone of everyday earning this compounded my beliefs as well as reinforcing another. And that other is: The development of these performance skills is utterly necessary for the youth of today if they wish to develop resilience and the ability to enter social situations without either being stifled by anxiety or being unable to read a room or rhythms of conversation. These ‘soft skills’ are far more important, I believe, than grades or even degrees as everyone tries to make their way in an increasingly complex and fast-moving world of employment. Who knew influencers would be a thing? Or YouTubers?

Teachers are communicators. 99% of our lessons is about engaging and energising our students to look closely at what we are currently studying. It doesn’t matter how many qualifications we have; if we can’t deliver the knowledge in a cogent and appropriate way we are next to useless. The best performers last week were the ones who embraced a little fear and used it to stimulate their own desire to get over the material. I don’t get nervous before every lesson but I do feel shit if I’ve had one where I thought I didn’t get things over well and that knowledge is always in the back of my mind. Encourage your children to be vocal and creative, it’s a no-brainer.

Some lovely stuff has flitted through the ears this week. Firstly, the new Natalie Merchant came down the tracks, a glorious gospel thing. Also headed back to The Fernweh and finally the long-lost Arnold. All worthy of a listen but as ever take what you want or need.


About Keith Hargreaves 365 Articles
Riding the one eyed horse into dead town the scales fell from his eyes. Music was the only true god at once profane and divine The dust blew through his mind as he considered the offering... And then he scored it out of ten and waited for the world to wake up
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