The Best Part of My Career is Seeing Children Progress in their Knowledge, Confidence, and Skills

An interview with Naomi Aves, Primary Music Teacher at BSB.

Naomi Aves is a Music Educator, having eight years’ experience teaching in various schools from EYFS through to Year 10. She gained a BA with an honours degree in Music from Durham University in 2007, as well as a Performance Diploma on the Flute. She later obtained her PGCE in Secondary Music Education from Canterbury Christ Church University.

How long have you been at BSB?

I started working at BSB in August 2018 as the Primary Music Teacher. Before taking up this post, I taught in UK comprehensive schools, as well as a few different international schools. I have lots of experience in building Music departments in growing schools and teaching music across the entire age range. BSB has enabled me to put these skills to good use, developing the Primary Music Curriculum and extra-curricular music provision, improving the quality of singing across the school, and collaborating with other teachers for shows and concerts.

What is the best part of your career as a music teacher?

The best part of my career is seeing children progress in their knowledge, confidence, and skills. I love creating fun and engaging lessons that stimulate, challenge and inspire students to achieve their best while having fun. Seeing this come together in public performances is the other rewarding part of my job. I particularly love Christmas time, as I get to plan and lead a significant portion of the music across the school.

What triggered your passion for music?

I don’t think one thing, in particular, triggered my passion for music - I simply love it. My grandparents and mother did a lot of singing, and it was always my favourite subject at school. I started piano lessons when I was seven, took up the flute when I was 12 years old, singing lessons for GCSE, and never stopped learning. That’s the beauty of music. There is so much out there, and the journey never ends. I bought a saxophone because I love jazz, and I have always wanted to learn how to play the harp. The closest I got to this was some lessons on the guzheng in China.

West End Musicals were probably the other reason my love for music and dance ignited. I’d always exit the theatre singing and twirling in the streets, dreaming of being on stage. I was always involved in some way in the shows and concerts at school, as well as church band.

What is your favourite music-related project at the school?

I enjoyed running the ‘Drums of the World’ University in the Autumn term. The boys who signed up got to explore djembe drumming, salsa percussion, taiko drumming, and body percussion. We thoroughly enjoyed watching the STOMP video together and creating our performance acts from it.

I am also thrilled with how the Primary Singers CCA has developed this year. The girls are now singing in 3-part harmony and have had many successful performances on stage. Our most exciting achievement has been to sing with the School Orchestra backing us live at the End of Year Concert.

Do you have any exciting projects coming up soon?

I have just ordered some more resources for Primary Music next year, and Miss Clark has also ordered some additional stringed instruments. Together, we are hoping to implement some exciting instrumental workshops to strengthen the transition from KS2 to KS3. I may have a few other projects up my sleeve, but you’ll have to watch this space.

Do you think music plays a significant role in a student’s education? Why?

Of course - I wouldn’t be a Music Teacher if I didn’t think this. Now let me give some reasons why:

Music is fundamental to the heart and soul of any school, and it is essential for a well-rounded education. Music teaches appreciation, discipline, collaboration and cooperation. It develops transferable skills such as coordination, teamwork, listening skills and creativity. It is mathematical in its rhythm, scientific with its sound, artistic with its performances, literary with songs, geographical and cultural, historical and experimental. Music Education, done well, will always produce good results. It improves fine-motor skills, sensitivity and respect when handling instruments. It improves memory and develops language skills. It enables students to express themselves and grow in confidence. It instils enjoyment and appreciation of different styles and genres. It educates and entertains.

Can you tell us something funny about yourself that your students may not know?

Where should I begin? I have had many embarrassing moments over the years and eaten many adventurous foods during my travels. I remember driving my hired motorbike into a bush in Thailand, as I misjudged the number of revs required to get up a steep slope to the right of the main road. Thankfully, Miss Aves, the motorbike, and the bush all survived.

Any final words for our students at BSB to inspire them with music?

Even if you don’t consider yourself a musician, or aspire to be one, take the opportunity now to explore different instruments. Take risks with creating music, and listen with an enuiring mind. You might discover something you didn’t know about, or a hidden skill or talent. The key is to try your best and to have fun.

To read the entire interview with Naomi Aves, the Primary Music Teacher at the British School of Bucharest, please follow this link.

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