Community Music Practice: Reaching Out to Young People


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This short course may sell-out quickly; early booking is advisable. 

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Tutor: Graham Dowdall

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Event Description

About the course

Community Music is a term that describes an approach to music that is both inclusive and participatory.

This can operate therapeutically and educationally, but as a field has its own rich history and culture. This workshop focuses on working with so-called ‘hard to reach’ young people in overcoming the challenges they face through music. As well as introducing you to this growing field, we’ll explore the contextual background and practical tools you’ll need to take into your own practice.

Community Musicians work with both young and older people who face a wide range of life challenges – using music as an effective tool to combat illness, disability, isolation, education difficulties, behavioural problems, offending and many more issues. Taking part in meaningful group activities is increasingly evidenced as a positive and productive way to overcome such challenges. This workshop investigates how to best facilitate meaningful and effective musical experiences for so-called ‘hard to reach’ young people. This includes those who:

• may be struggling at school
• have been excluded, or are in danger of exclusion
• at risk or already offending
• not in education, training or employment

Community Music Practice can take many forms – singing in a choir, making beats on a computer, improvising as a group, exploring technology as a means to self-expression, songwriting, soundscape work and more. Each different way of engaging with music can have personal, social and collective benefits. To gain the greatest benefit, Community Music interactions need to be led by people with a range of musical, communication and other skills, as well as an understanding of the context and the people you are working with. This workshop will enable you to develop your own skill set, as well as providing a range of activity tools that can facilitate young people who face challenging circumstances to engage in creative and meaningful music activities.

Who this course is for

This workshop is ideal for you if you are a:

• youth worker who would like to develop this skill set
• music leader already practising in the field
• music service tutor
• music teacher
• musician who would like to explore this field
• teaching assistant
• a teaching assistant or teacher working in Pupil Referral Unit or similar context

No formal skill level is required, but to gain the most out of this workshop, we would expect you to possess a level of either formal or informal music experience.

Why study this course?

  • Take part in a range of exciting and engaging music-making activities that you can take into your own practice.
  • Develop your own musical leadership skills in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Learn about some of the challenging circumstances that young people may face, how they impact young people and how, through music, we can reach out to them in positive ways.
  • Learn how to plan and deliver creative music sessions to bring the maximum benefit to participants in these contexts.
  • Explore how we can measure the effectiveness of musical interactions in order to understand the impact, enabling sustained work.

This course is the second part in our Community Music Practice series. Prior to this, we are offering Community Music Practice: Working with Disabled People and Young People with Special Educational Needs, which you may wish to take.

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Goldsmiths College, University of London

New Cross, London, SE14 6NW, UK

+44 (0)20 7919 7171

About the organiser

Goldsmiths: a close-knit community, a rich academic heritage, a creative powerhouse, a thought-provoking place.

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Paris, France

27 September 2019 To 1 October 2019

9:00 am To 5:00 pm

+33 1 45 68 48 50

A special celebration for the 70th anniversary of the International Music Council will be held in the framework of the 6th World Forum on Music in Paris in October 2019.

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Morley College London, Westminster Bridge Road, London, UK

9 January 2019 To 13 December 2019

+44 (0)20 7450 1889

The course is led by Peter Collyer, Head of School, Music and Performing Arts at Morley College.


What you will learn

The Certificate for Music Educators (CME) is designed to ‘encourage music educators to develop new skills, consolidate their understanding of the purposes of music education, and build their reflective practice, with the ultimate goal of enhancing their contribution to the musical learning of children and young people’ (Trinity London Specification).

CME London is a partnership between Morley College London, Sound Connections and the Musicians’ Union which will provide a London hub for the CME and a community of practice for London music teachers, through which they can share best practice and enhance their skills while gaining the qualification.

By the end of the course you will be able to

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of children and young people’s musical learning
  • Be able to plan, facilitate and evaluate children and young people’s musical learning
  • Apply reflective practice and professional development strategies in music education
  • Promote children and young people’s positive behaviour in a music education setting
  • Ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion are embedded in your work as music educator
  • Understand your Safeguarding duties as a music educator of children and young people

Class format and activities

The content of the CME consists of three principal activities:

  1. One-to-one mentoring and lesson observations provided by the course tutors.
  2. One-day workshops at Morley College London.
  3. Online learning modules provided by the Musician’s Union and Morley College London.

Students will create a portfolio of reflective statements and short essays that address the learning outcomes.


The outline schedule for 2019 (subject to final confirmation) will be:

  • Friday 4 January 2019 14.00-16.00: Induction event at Morley College London
  • Monday 7 January 2019: Course begins
  • January 2019: Initial meetings between participants and mentors take place
  • Sunday 27 January 2019 10.00-17.00, Morley College London: Workshop 1
  • Sunday 10 March 2019 10.00-17.00, Morley College London: Workshop 2
  • Sunday 9 June 2019 10.00-17.00, Morley College London: Workshop 3
  • Sunday 16 June 2019 10.00-17.00, Morley College London: Workshop 4
  • Workshops 5 and 6 TBC during Autumn Term 2019
  • Deadline for final submission of complete portfolios will be 6th December 2019

In order to ensure that you make the best possible progress on your course, you will have regular feedback from your tutor, in a constructive and supportive environment.

Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for the CME, but learners wishing to register for the course must demonstrate:

  • A level of musical competence that is appropriate to the demands of their working environment
  • Musical, communication and interpersonal skills that enable them to inspire confidence in and elicit musical responses from children and young people
  • The ability to cope with the learning and assessment demands of the Trinity CME

What you need to know before you enrol

The CME is a professional development course that runs from January to December and is for music educators who are current practitioners with regular teaching commitments, either private, in schools or at a music hub or centre. If you are unsure about the course’s suitability for you then please contact for an informal conversation about the requirements of the CME.

What you will need for your class

  • You will need to keep notes on your teaching and to bring your notes with you to your one-to-one meetings. This can be done by hand or electronically. You will need a computer and access to the internet and email.
  • Instrumentalists should bring their instruments to all workshops.

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Amnesty International, 25 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EA

29 June 2019

9:30 am To 4:00 pm

+44 (0)20 7729 7220


Cassie Kinoshi is an award-winning composer, music educator and band leader of the Seed Ensemble. She plays with Nerija and Kokoroko.

Pete Yelding is a cellist, sitarist and academic who has written extensively on colonialism and music place-making.


Following feedback from our landmark session at our Social Justice conference last year, Beyond Diversity, we are pleased to offer a one-day programme aimed at helping organisations and practitioners move beyond limiting models of diversity in relation to race and class.

This exciting session will take a multidisciplinary approach using music, interactive activities and frameworks to provide an open environment where we can collectively move towards a proactive, critically engaged sector.

The day will explore:

  • structural racism, power and privilege within the arts
  • how whiteness shapes music education, the wider cultural sector and the cultures within the cultural sector
  • strategies to create inclusive, socially just ways of building programmes and curriculums

Who the day is for:

  • staff at arts organisations and music education hubs
  • arts practitioners
  • educators
  • policy-makers

If you are a person of colour, this training day might help you find the language you need to address issues around race within your organisation, with practitioners on hand to offer you support throughout the day. We know that the emotional and intellectual labour of combatting racism falls on people of colour with little support and we will strive not to replicate that dynamic in this space.

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