INSPIRE Music

INSPIRE Music – improving music learning together
INSPIRE Music invited the whole music education community to think together, share practice and spark inspiration. Go to our website to find out more and sign up to get involved or follow INSPIRE Music on Twitter.

The purpose of INSPIRE Music is to help school leaderships teams, teachers and other practitioners make music learning better for young people aged 0 – 19: so it is more consistent for young people across school life, is higher quality, more inclusive, more diverse and more sustainable. We’ll do this by gathering, explaining and disseminating a wide range of real-life examples of effective practice, training and strategy – showing ways to inspire and include all children in positive music learning opportunities, whatever the circumstances of the school or setting.

In May 2014, PHF published Inspiring Music for All, a report summarising the situation of school-based music education in England. The headline findings were that:

  • The place and status of music in schools continue to vary widely across the country
  • The best music in schools is significantly more inclusive, more musically diverse and better quality than it was a decade ago

The quality and reach of schools-based music education is still unacceptably variable and inconsistent at all levels
Following from that report, the INSPIRE Music National Working Group was set up to address the key underlying issues, which were:

  • Low teacher confidence stemming from insufficient depth of ITE and lack of engagement with post-qualification CPD and professional networks
  • Widespread weaknesses in curriculum and pedagogy
  • Inconsistency of retention and progression in music
  • Insufficient support from Senior Leadership teams
  • Insufficient local and national support structures for practitioners
  • Impact of education policy changes since 2010

The National Working Group is made up of 21 highly experienced and knowledgeable practitioners, researchers and trainers drawn from across contexts and locations. Led by their Chair, Professor Graham Welch (UCL/IoE), and Programme Director Katherine Zeserson (lead author of the original report) they will produce a richly populated web portal providing inspiring common references and guiding principles for colleagues working in and with schools, early years and other 0-19 settings; designed to advance consistency, positive partnership working and high quality standards. Throughout the process the Working Group will gather good practice examples and stories from colleagues working in and with schools, early years and other 0-19 settings around the country, and stimulate a vibrant debate; ensuring that the work is grounded in practical realities.

The purpose of the web portal is to help schools plan and organise better music learning opportunities; and to inspire teachers and practitioners to investigate a range of approaches to effective, emerging and innovative practice. The materials will be divided into stages of learning, and deal with a number of cross-cutting themes including SEN, technology, inclusivity and progression, CPD and training advice, and a proposition for consistent in-service/post-qualification professional development. There will also be training materials for governors and senior leaders on how to ensure best possible music in their schools, and inspirational content from leading professional musicians designed to empower and support head teachers, governing bodies and teachers to have high expectations.