When we closed the Music Mark central office in London in 2020, one of the biggest decisions was what to do with A Common Approach – at the time, a huge green folder I could hardly lift which claimed to be ‘an instrumental/vocal curriculum’. It was clear that this was a significant piece of work of its time involving a stellar list of contributors, a partnership between the Federation of Music Services, National Association of Music Educators and the Royal College of Music and published by Faber. Published in February 2002, the big question was whether we should add it to the recycling pile or keep it as a ‘current resource’. Was it still useful? Were teachers still using it?
What better way to find out than to ask the membership (something we do regularly – have you completed our annual Member Survey yet?!). So we did. And we got a great response; yes, the resource was still valuable, but it needed updating.
And that’s what we’ve done! With the help of another great set of advisors (including some who helped with the original publication) and editor/coordinator Catherine Brentnall, we started work on a ‘refresh’. It’s taken almost a year, but it was really exciting last week to launch the new microsite which has replaced the heavy folder (not least as the new edition would have needed to be divided into several volumes since we’ve added more content, additional instruments etc!). You can browse round the now fully digital A Common Approach here.
We know that every teacher has their own style, but A Common Approach aims to encourage a holistic approach to teaching and learning, providing programmes of study, suggested learning objectives and considers progression across a set of interrelated areas of development. We believe that this resource can be an industry standard to support those coming into the profession, but also provide an opportunity for experienced teachers to reflect on their practice. At the launch on the 27th April we invited feedback from the teachers who attended the teach-meet session, and they agreed that they loved the range of ideas and that it would help with planning and affirming their own practice.
Over the coming weeks we are planning to provide some video guides and online training, so watch out for more news, but in the meantime do dip into the pages and see what you can find. As an online resource it’s now much easier to carry with you, but you’ll see that, with the added instruments and sections around ED&I and links to the UK School curricula, it’s an even weightier tome than the original!
You can explore