Sharing Practice Fast: DIY Video Lesson Plans


My time at Drake Music, visiting schools of all shapes and sizes,  has consistently demonstrated the following:

1. There is always something to learn from watching a classroom teacher or fellow music specialist deliver a lesson in class (music or otherwise), and I have learnt more from observing lessons than any training I have done.

2. Secondly, that the needs of pupils in SEN contexts are more often than not very specific, and generic training and schemes of work are often not the most useful resources for SEN teachers.

It makes sense, therefore, for all teachers to be given the time and space they need to share some of their best practice with teachers in similar situations. However, as we all know, few teachers are afforded this luxury.

In an effort to overcome this, and utilising the relative simplicity and affordability of video editing on the iPad (and other tablets), we have created a prototype ‘5-minute lesson plan’. The idea is that a teacher can watch it and very quickly pick up what is going on, and why, allowing them in a short space of time to observe the key points of a lesson or set of lessons, and use or adapt any bits that are relevant to them. The video also includes the relevant musical material, allowing you to recreate the song arrangement with various differentiated parts.

The hope is that other teachers and teaching assistants will create and share their own ‘5 minute lesson plans’. We have (somewhat) deliberately left the footage quite raw and rough around the edges to highlight that it is the intent, content and production speed, rather than perfection, that is important. A brief guide to our process is below. We hope you find the video useful and do get in touch if you have any comments or suggestions.


Our video-making process:

  1. Over 3 lessons, we collected short video clips (around 30 seconds) of each task on an iPad

  2. In the ‘Movie Maker’ app we arranged the clips in order, trimmed them, and added annotations.

  3. We exported the clip to the ‘photos’ app and then on to Youtube.

As we didn’t have photo permission for one of the participants, we also took the additional step of pixelling out some of the shots using Adobe Premiere Pro, but this can be avoided by not using images of pupils’ faces.

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