Music pupils receive personal drumsticks to keep lessons going

A director of music at a Scottish independent school has come up with a new way to keep music lessons going despite restrictions

The director of music at a Scottish independent school has come up with a unique way to keep lessons going for music pupils, despite restrictions put in place due to the pandemic.

Matt Gooch from Strathallan School in Perth decided to make, along with the school’s head of design technology, each pupil a pair of personal drumsticks.

The drumsticks are made from doweling and are crafted under Covid-safe regulations in the school’s design technology department, which during lockdown was used to create over a thousand pieces of PPE for key workers.

Gooch said the drumsticks mean they won’t have to clean equipment between lessons and can dedicate the full lesson to music.

He explained: “At the moment making music has been rather tricky due to regulations put in place by Scottish Government, so rather than thinking about what we can’t do, we have been prioritising what we are able do.

“Whilst we cannot share instruments and even play some, we’ve focused this term on skills around rhythm which every pupil can take part in. This has involved us making a pair of drumsticks for every single pupil from Year 4 in prep school up to third form in our senior school, so that they can continue to learn to read, compose and perform music individually and in small safe groups.”

At the moment making music has been rather tricky due to regulations put in place by Scottish Government, so rather than thinking about what we can’t do, we have been prioritising what we are able do – Matt Gooch, Strathallan School

In a video created by the school, music pupils can be seen using their personal drumsticks to practice rhythm skills on plastic chairs outside, maintaining social distancing.

Almost all of Strathallan’s music lessons are being taught face-to-face, however, brass, woodwind and singing are being delivered online following Strathallan’s blended approach to learning.

More than 7,000 live lessons taught were taught via the school’s online platforms during lockdown.

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