DISAX a.k.a Diane Atkinson _ Music Education

Music and Education  07530 360919

Disax logo

Diane Atkinson: Teachers Page

treble clef used in classical music and jazz

If children are used to watching TV which is broken into 12 minute ‘chunks’ it is not surprising that they become conditioned to expect an event or activity to last no more that 12 minutes!

Break your lessons into sections, keep the focus. 

Use transition activities which either link the old and new sections of the lesson or reinforce the ‘nuts and bolts’ of music : the elements of music.

cross brain thinking when teaching music

Music is the only truly whole brain activity.  Simultaneous logic and artistic elements are needed.

Teach the concepts and processes of “music theory” in a musically practical way

Teaching PITCH

Teach in a way which enables the pupil to learn.

It is worth establishing a pulse away from the instrument at the start of a lesson or before a new activity,  This helps the student ‘internalise the beat’ without worrying about breathing, instrumental technique or notation. 


Rhythm games are good for developing attentiveness to sound but should only be used for short periods so that boredom never sets in, little an often is good.  Copy-cat clapping and quick chains of sound are particularly good for regaining focus within a lesson.

Teaching RHYTHM

When introducing the concept of bars and time signatures it can be useful to show each beat as a box in which sound happens (or not) each box is the same size and so lasts for the same length of time.  A beat is a flexible unit of time unlike a second but remains constant within the bar.

Varied activities increase focus, therefore : increase ability to learn

Develop listening (aural) skills in a creative and interactive way

Music is a performance art.  In order to create a good performance, musicianship skills are as necessary as instrumental technique and theoretical knowledge.

elements of music

Music is a language. 

Create links between sound, emotion and description.

Always use musical vocabulary

Listen to your students.  What do they enjoy? What can they express? … Demonstrate good practice, communicate clearly, play well. … Be creative, in the teaching methods used and in the types of genre explored.

Learn the theory in a practical way.

Use listening games to recognise intervals

Use standard tone exercises to develop “ear”

Read staff notation with and without instrument

3D staffs—physically move notes up or down


Use a variety of shapes

Match shapes to the piece being studied

Ask the pupils to draw their own shapes

Join the shapes together to make a melody


This is correct

flash cards in music lessons

Mix and Match rhythm cards for reading notation, pulse work and creative playing

rhythm grids in music lessons

Rhythm grids for reading notation and pulse work.  An ideal way to focus on all elements individually.

Music is Sound and silence.  Music is Pitch—Melody and Harmony.  Music is Rhythm—Tempo, Pulse and Articulation.  Music is Dynamics.  Music is Timbre and Texture.  Do you teach them all?

JAzz improvisationmusic lessons

This is incorrect

Develop the Concept of Pitch.  What is high? 

Differentiate between Pitch and Dynamics—When you turn the TV “up” is it louder or higher?

Recognise aurally a change in pitch,

Recreate vocally or with your instrument a particular pitch or melodic motif

Notation: Understand how pitch is recorded on paper.

Recognise patterns of pitch  - graphically and within the piece.

Music is Sound. 

Music for youthWoodwind examsSaxophone and flute examsBrass and Woodwind instrument sales and repairs

National events happening in your local area

Exam  information:

Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music

Exam  information:

Trinity College London incorporating: Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Arts Award log ages 11 to 25

Arts and Leadership development and accreditation

Brass and Woodwind

Sales and repairs

To follow these links just CLICK on the company logo


Useful websites :

rhythm work for instrumental lessonsrhythm work for instrumental lessonsContact details for Diane ATkinson who lives between Cheltenham and GloucesterUp Arrow: Back to the TOP
Down Arrow: Keep on looking ....

For information on how to book music lessons / projects or workshops please go to the

Work in Schools page of this website