Arts Award and the National Plan for Music Education

Arts Award and the National Plan for Music Education

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BY: Natalie Christopher
13 Sep 2022

The new National Plan for Music Education was released in June and, now we are at the start of the academic year, we expect many of you, particularly those from Music Education Hubs and schools, will be starting to consider how you use this to enhance your existing provision. Incorporating Trinity's range of Music qualifications is a natural fit for demonstrating progression in musical learning, but Arts Award offers a host of possibilities too! In this blog, we take a look at some of the ways Arts Award can support your delivery of the National Plan.

Arts Award in schools

The revised Hub requirements set out a remit for supporting schools with their delivery plans, as well as ensuring the long-term provision of music education for all. In this advisory capacity, Hubs may take a bespoke approach to the guidance they offer schools based on their students, the musical culture already in existence at the school, and the resources available to them.

This is where the flexibility of Arts Award can be a really beneficial tool for rewarding musical participation and progression. We have highlighted in our previous blog, Arts Award and the Model Music Curriculum, how Discover, Explore and Bronze can support musical learning in Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 respectively, and accounts of how Arts Award Discover and Explore have been incorporated into Music Partnership North's First Access classes can be found in our blog: Capturing the joy of Whole Class Instrumental Teaching through Arts Award.

In addition to this, we also have an exciting partnership with Charanga. Charanga's diverse range of practical music-making resources and simple upload features are a great fit for delivering music-focused Arts Award programmes at Discover, Explore and Bronze. We look forward to being able to share more about this with you shortly via this blog, so do sign up to be notified about posts if you haven't already!

And, of course, Arts Award can be undertaken in any instrument or musical discipline. For example, it could be used to support learning in composition or music technology, provide a framework for lessons focusing on music from a particular genre, country or culture, evidence progression on adapted instruments, or support cross-curricular projects such a preparing for a school production.

For schools looking to offer additional pathways at Key Stages 4 and 5, Silver and Gold awards provide alternatives that encourage young people to develop their own practice, as well as their wider leadership and communication skills. Successful completion of Gold award also gains the young person valuable UCAS points.

Arts Award in out of school settings

One of the key takeaways from this year's National Plan for Music Education is the acknowledgement that musical learning and progression is not confined to what happens in formal education settings; it happens in brass bands, community orchestras, places of worship, youth club-run workshops - the list is endless. One of the key features of Arts Award is its versatility - it can be run anywhere there are arts activities being delivered. So, whether young people are playing in a steel pans band, learning to DJ, or taking part in a series of recording studio-led production workshops, Arts Award can be incorporated into the sessions so that they achieve a formally recognised qualification as part of it.

At the higher levels of Silver and Gold, Arts Award provides a framework though which young people can explore their individual career paths and artistic development. Both levels involve a leadership project in which they identify and develop key skills valuable in any line of work; this might include working as a team or event or project management, for example. But they also include reflection and development of their artistic practice, deeper research into possible career paths and, at Gold, the undertaking of work/volunteering placements and training. In this way, organisations offering these levels are both creating links between education and industry, and enabling young people to take ownership of their own musical learning.

You can find more information about Trinity's wider offer to Music Education Hubs and Services on our website, and more suggestions on how Trinity qualifications can support Hubs with their new functions on our blog

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