Section C: Learning Outcome 3 (LO 3)
Be able to promote diversity, equality, and inclusion in musical learning
As you read through this checklist to help your future planning for an inclusive learning environment, keep in mind the range of opportunities that are being presented to children and young people to help them engage with and develop skills, knowledge and understanding in music.
- If you are working in a school, wherever possible, speak to class teachers to find out which students might need extra support or challenge. Remember they may have Special Educational Needs (SEN), English as an Additional Language (EAL) or be in the group of gifted and talented children (G&T).
- If you are working in a school, find out from your class what prior experiences they have with music and try not to make assumptions about their starting point.
- Whatever the context of your work as a music educator, make sure your lesson plan includes a variety of student activity so that you are engaging with children and young people across a range of learning styles (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic).
- If you are working with more than one learner at a time, your lesson plan should include differentiation that is appropriate to the range of learners and their needs.
- Lesson plans need to include opportunities for you to assess students so that you know what their musical needs are and can plan differentiation accordingly. Are any of your students bored? If so, maybe their needs aren’t being sufficiently met because the work they are being given is too easy or too difficult.
- Think carefully about the music you use in your lessons or sessions. Plan repertoire carefully to include the familiar and introduce the unfamiliar to ensure there is a real variety of music so that as many students as possible can connect with it. Introduce students to new music but also make an effort to embrace the music they choose to listen to and want to play.
- Talk less. Teacher talk can be a real barrier to learning, especially for pupils who are still learning English or who find verbal instructions difficult.
- Plan a variety of teaching styles into your lessons or sessions. Some music can be learnt by ear, some from notation; use elements such as improvisation and composition as well as teaching set pieces. Using different approaches will ensure you are connecting more effectively with more learners.
- Be aware of making assumptions that create problems for some learners, especially in more traditional instrumental teaching settings (e.g. requiring pupils to practise at home, paying for lessons/tutor books/exams, after-hours or weekend rehearsals, needing parents to drive pupils to different locations, wearing certain outfits for concerts etc).
- Avoid potential barriers to learning, for example, lessons where all the work is from written notation.
- Think about how you can include all learners during sessions. Make sure you’re not always going back to the same learners for answers or demonstrations.
- If you work in a school or similar learning environment, make an ‘audit’ of your groups and find out how inclusive they are, for example, in terms of:
- Free School Meals
- Special Educational Needs
- Black & Minority Ethnic
- English as an Additional LanguageThis will give you an insight into what you might need to change to become truly inclusive.
Learning activity 10 – relating to Learning Outcome 3 (LO 3)
Consider your response, and the sample responses, to the following questions in both the context of your own work as a music educator and your broader experience of music education:
1. How does the weakest player/singer get their moment?
Sample response: Provide opportunities for all participants to share something that they have achieved with activities that encourage everyone to take part.
2. Are small steps of progress publicly acclaimed?
Sample response: Encourage students to share their music on their own or in groups in the lesson, school concerts, festivals, exams, playing at home.
3. How do accomplished players recognise progress in less advanced players?
Sample response: Relating and sharing their own experiences will often highlight similarities with difficulties and progress. Through identifying similarities with their own learning experiences and through improvements from week to week.
4. Are contacts available for those who need financial support?
Sample response: Yes, both local and national contacts are made known to the school/institution and shared widely as appropriate.
5. How is information about opportunities for playing and listening communicated?
Sample response: Personally and via newsletters to all students and parents.