Children are taking their music lessons in the playground at one Dundee primary school to conform with Covid restrictions.
Kids in P5 at Fintry Primary School are piloting the new initiative after youngsters throughout the city reportedly missed group face-to-face lessons.
And they are also testing out new instruments – small musical machines which can be played as doods, toots and jays.
They look like miniature clarinets, flutes and saxophones and have the same mouthpieces and reeds as the traditional woodwind instruments, to allow for easy progression.
Barbara Smith, the school’s head teacher, said: “The children have been really excited to have the opportunity to play these new instruments and have been having great fun learning all about them.
“They’re learning so many different things by learning to play an instrument – it’s an individual activity but also a group activity.
“It has a great effect on their maths because they’re counting all the time, they’re having to keep track of what they’re learning and practice.”
Mrs Smith also said the music lessons were helping to boost the children’s wellbeing – one of the contributing factors that new methods were introduced by Dundee City Council.
Face-to-face teaching missed by kids
The council’s children and families convener, Stewart Hunter, said children had “really missed” face-to-face music lessons.
He said: “Music lessons for some instruments and singing have not been possible through the pandemic so we’ve had to be a bit creative and innovative.”
As well as the practical music sessions held outdoors, lessons are backed up with short videos of the various instrument specific skills for that week.
Councillor Hunter added: “For many years now we have used the power of arts and music and to engage with children and improve their learning.
“The idea for the doods, toots and jays class was built on the existing sector leading work of both the council’s Aspire Dundee Music and Kodaly teams.
“Pupils are learning to work as a team, building an ethos of trust and having fun at the same time.