See what happens when Y9 pupils perform for their classmates......

Published on 04/02/2019

When a maths teacher at Tapton school asked musicians in his Y9 maths class to perform to the rest of the class during maths lessons, it piqued the interest of SMH Music Leader Celia Hurwitz-Keefe.  Celia asked Mr Soteriades why he chose to introduce this unusual feature in his maths lesson.  This is his reply:

Music is everywhere, it sets the tone and affects our mood.

I wanted to emulate in a small way a jazz bar atmosphere where some members of the audience watch whilst others continue what they were doing but in sotto voce.

As I say to the class, we are a team and thus an individual performance can be 'used' as a bonding tool.

Performing in front of our peers is the most stressful. Sitting in exams is a stressful experience. The students will be together when they take their exams. So I try to somehow create - in a subconscious way - a feeling of calmness and collegiality via music & performance.

I love art and music. It was well worth climbing down from the trees for (though apple crumble is the primary benefit of this, in my opinion!).

I believe that there are links between the thinking processes of maths, music (and languages) and so, maybe, by doing maths whilst listening to a music performance might in some small way help the assimilation of the maths at hand.

I am curious to see what these humans can do outside the maths world I see them in.

It helps to break the established order of the lesson.

I think that it helps the self-esteem of the performers.

It puts all the effort, nagging and money the parents and music teachers do into good use.

I love humans! It never ceases to amazing me what these young humans in front of me can do.

We at Sheffield Music Hub agree wholeheartedly!!  Music is an essential part of life and our engagement with it follows us in to all corners of our existence; it doesn’t stop at the exit doors of the practice room or concert hall!  It shapes our emotions and our attitudes and it physically rewires the brain to create broad thinkers, problem solvers, musicians, mathematicians and linguists (as dozens of studies have shown). 

This is why we believe, and work to ensure, that high quality music tuition is available to every child in this city regardless of regardless of race; gender; where they live; their levels of musical talent; parental income; whether they have special educational needs or disabilities; and whether they are looked-after children; deserve the very best music education.

Well done Mr Soteriades!! 

We’d love to hear from you if you have stories of Sheffield Schools using music in exciting and innovative ways to support our children and young people’s lives.  Contact us!