A tailored route for achieving CME for non QTS musicians working in schools.

Developing the workforce: Fast-track route for the Certificate for Music Educators

What are the goals of the work?

The goals of the programme are to provide teaching and learning contexts to fulfil the stipulations of the Trinity College London Certificate for Music Educators (CME) qualification through face-to face seminars, written assignments, lesson observations and tutorials. A related aim is to prepare and support candidates in creating their personalised action plans, noting that the programme outcomes are set by Trinity.

What is the context of the work?

  • Setting: Trinity Certificate for Music Educators (CME) centre at the University of Northampton
  • Age of students: Adults
  • No of students: 3-5
  • Does the example fit into longer term plan or is it ‘stand-alone’?: Although the programme is ‘stand-alone’, the long-term aim is for candidates to (a) become vigilant and reflective practitioners and (b) engage in a professional development activity and professional growth pathway through their ‘personalised action plan’.
  • Who is leading the work?: The local coordinator is Hilary Miles (freelance music education consultant), the work was developed with Sue Nicholls (Associate ITT Music Lecturer at the University of Northampton).

What is the content of the work?

This is a national professional development qualification at level 4, being a programme of structured learning objectives to enhance and develop practitioners in music education working with children and young people. The Certificate for Music Educators (CME) certificate is suitable for anyone who works as a music educator, including instrumental and vocal teachers, early years and primary teachers, community musicians and workshop leaders and professional musicians who undertake education work.

CME Northampton

Key foci

  • musical knowledge – notation, musical style and genre
  • use of technology
  • expressiveness, aesthetic sensitivity and discrimination
  • self- and co-regulation: increasing self-reliance
  • originality and creativity
  • enjoyment, enthusiasm and interest
  • individual – group (solo, duo, small-group, ensemble) activity
  • communication with audience
  • interpersonal skills and relationships with others
  • teamwork and co-operation

What are the key features of the teaching and learning approach?

The programme is accessed through a variety of approaches: seminars, one-to-one tutorials, assignments, lesson observations and feedback. The core element is that candidates self-determine their professional development. Various pedagogical approaches are explored in the seminars.

How is the work being reviewed?

The Trinity Certificate for Music Educators (CME) criteria are clear: assessment is made against the learning objectives set out in the specification. Candidates’ portfolios are scrutinised by the Trinity moderator, and the ‘fast-track’ programme has its own internal quality assurance (IQA) led by a deputy Hub manager who oversees the course and candidates’ work at all stages.

What are the positive outcomes for children/young people – are they some or all of musical, social, personal, educational - how and when can they be identified?

The positive outcomes for children and young people are that successful CME candidates will provide a progressive , enriched and reflective music education experience in their settings. The teachers also commit to an ongoing professional development programme that will provide positive outcomes for their pupils.

What are the key features of teacher/leader behaviour that are enabling those positive outcomes?

The key features are academic study and constant reflective practice that is woven around lesson observations and feedback, related to a personalised action plan to determine candidates’ professional programme pathway.

What are the key features of context, content and activities that are enabling those positive outcomes?

The attached Certificate for Music Educators (CME) Northampton Handbook provides a useful reference here.

What other factors in this case are contributing to those positive outcomes?

Other factors include individually-determined action plans, alongside accessible professional support and feedback from tutors.

How replicable or adaptable is it?

The Certificate for Music Educators (CME) programme is provided nationally through different centres with varied emphases and approaches. The ‘fast-track’ course can be replicated by other tutors who share an enthusiasm for the programme style and structure.

Content: reflection

Music leading

  • Secure provision for technical, musical, social, personal and critical aspects
  • Materials and resources match stage/age/of learners
  • Inclusive of needs of individuals, groups and pupils with SEND
  • Well prepared to meet requirements and aspirations of learners
  • Rich and relevant musical challenge to create, recreate, listen and respond
  • Fluency and energy give appropriate pace
  • Positive and professional ethos, and response to individuals and groups
  • Clarity over guidance for work between sessions


Music learning

  • Focus of sessions is understood and relates to previous learning
  • Positive response to new materials and resources, and to consolidating familiar work
  • Expectations of music leader are clear to all participants
  • No barriers to participation
  • Awareness of how to make individual progress, as well as music making with others
  • Session generates enthusiasm, concentration and energy from participants
  • Individuals know they can make a valued individual contribution or response
  • Participants know there will be opportunities to be spontaneous and share ideas
  • Individuals or groups know there are facilities for them to work individually or together between sessions

Teaching and Learning: description

  • leader-centred – learner-centred
  • open-ended, flexible - closed, formulaic
  • oral, verbal – written (words or notation)
  • pedagogic language: precise, formal – imprecise, conversational
  • leader’s questions: closed – open
  • task focus: narrow – broad, easy - difficult
  • knowledge base: codified, rule-bound – negotiable, relative

Teaching and Learning: Reflection

Music leading

  • Leads a fluent sequence of musical activities
  • Maximises provision for musical learning
  • Provides for secure understanding and skills
  • Pace ensures motivation and involvement of learners
  • Differentiation promotes interaction and maximum participation in learning
  • Opportunities for appropriate grouping and re-grouping of participants
  • Observable progress and attainment are made clear, shared and celebrated
  • Gives and receives regular feedback, musical interaction and responses

Music learning

  • Learners expect to be engaged in rich musical activities
  • Strong motivation to engage and readiness to learn
  • Activities relate to and build on existing understanding and skills
  • Positive response towards and confidence in participating
  • Learners know how to work well individually, in small groups and as a whole cohort
  • Learners reinforce their own and others’ progress and attainments
  • Learners know how to continue to make progress between sessions

Review, assessment and development description and refection

Music leading

  • Progress is recognised musically and orally in sessions
  • Aims for sessions are set carefully, incrementally and communicated clearly, and are met
  • Expectations about outcomes from series of sessions or lessons are made clear
  • Informal feedback to participants is regular, through musical or verbal interactions
  • Learners are given opportunities to be increasingly involved in decisions about progress and attainment, and these are recognised and logged
  • Formal assessment requirements and procedures are secure, integrated and clearly communicated in the programmes and courses
  • Programmes and courses are reviewed and developed with secure professional knowledge and skill

Music learning

  • Learners can demonstrate their progress musically and verbally
  • Learners have a clear understanding of how aims are set and achieved
  • Learners know how to describe progress over time and within single sessions
  • All participants take opportunities to give and receive feedback, and contribute to the review and development of activities and programmes
  • Learners know why and how their attainment is logged, and are well prepared for periodic assessments
  • Learners know how to work towards formal assessment requirements, and understand the procedures for these

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