Musical Progressions Roundtable

A highly influential network of music education professionals looking together at how musical progression can most effectively be supported.

I am working with Awards for Young Musicians (AYM) to develop and support the Musical Progressions Roundtable - a national network for musical progression, with Youth Music funding, building on the progression roundtable dialogues AYM hosted with Youth Music and the Musicians Benevolent Fund in 2009-11, and bringing together key stakeholders supporting musical progression, including other Youth Music-funded progression networks. 

The network aims to ensure a nationally efficient and coordinated music education offer by building and maintaining an England-wide network of people, organisations and skills, focused on how children and young people’s musical progression can most effectively be supported and their talent and potential realised: sharing knowledge and practice, holding collective dialogue and developing strategic focus. 

The original roundtable dialogues were very well received and have had significant impacts across the music education sector. We want to build on this process in the new music education landscape.


Who is part of this network?

Effective networking needs to incorporate conversation and collaboration that are safe, useful, challenging, relevant, constructive, and sustained. We are organising a programme of facilitated networking around quarterly face-to-face meetings, with follow-up activities and communications in between. We're hoping for representation from:

  • YM-funded regional/local networks for encouraging talent and potential,
  • representation from ACE Bridge Organisations, Hubs and other music education organisations (formal and non-formal), particularly where these are not covered by YM networks, 
  • individuals from these or other organisations, invited to present new material
  • young people's groups


How does this network relate to other national music education bodies?

This network isn't a new organisation or body with a specific remit or mandate, but a group of people and organisations who together can be creative, pragmatic and effective. Of course, there are other initiatives, organisations, groups, websites etc. that are working to bring people together nationally to address issues and challenges in and around music education. In many cases, we’re working strategically with these – for example, with the Music Education Council, the National Association of Music Educators, the Federation of Music Services, Musical Futures, Musical Bridges, and the Arts Council.

Everyone has limited time and resources – there’s little sense in duplicating efforts. So in this network we’re looking to create focused environments conducive to open conversation and productive dialogue, working towards achieving significant impacts but recognizing that as a ‘network’ we have little clout of our own: the impacts are only as significant as what people are prepared to commit to and act on.


What's the objective of the network?

The focus of the network will be on how we can most effectively support young people’s musical progression, encouraging their talent and potential. This includes all young people, without prejudice towards and taking account of musical style/genre, personal/social background and circumstances.

The network will bring the above organisations and individuals together for three core purposes:

  • cohering: sharing practice, networking people together, understanding issues and opportunities
  • inspiring and informing: injecting new practice and knowledge
  • mobilising: forging strategic focus for change and influencing policy

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