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Music Mark expands A Common Approach, adding new instruments

25th April 2023

Yellow Brazilian surdo drum with green beaters

New sections for Djembe, Bass guitar, and Latin American percussion added to A Common Approach

One year on since launching A Common Approach in its new digital format, Music Mark has expanded the resource and added new content for instruments including Djembe, Bass guitar, and Latin American percussion.

A Common Approach, a vocal and instrumental curriculum resource, aims to provide learning objectives and activities for a range of instruments and supports music teachers to develop a holistic approach to teaching. The new content features an expanded percussion section that incorporates more material for Djembe and Latin American instruments, along with a brand new section for the Bass Guitar. A new section for tabla is currently in development and due to be published later this year.

Having been originally published and printed over twenty years ago in 2002, in 2021 Music Mark conducted a consultation on the usage of the resource. Following a consensus that the resource was still widely used and deemed helpful amongst the music education community, work on refreshing and updating its content began, coordinated by Editor Catherine Brentnall. This work took place over the course of one year and involved the contributions of over 44 music educators and advisors – some of whom helped develop the original 2002 publication. The recent addition of new instrument sections now marks another exciting chapter in the resource’s history and is a testament to Music Mark’s commitment to celebrating diverse and inclusive musical opportunities.

It’s a privilege to be able to work with so many skilled practitioners to create something so valuable and inclusive

Music teacher sit doing a clapping rhythm exercise

A Common Approach is designed to help educators develop a holistic approach to music education

Editor and coordinator Catherine Brentnall said “One of the most important aspects of the 2022 work on A Common Approach was making it an online resource, because unlike the original printed version, this version doesn’t have to wait 20 years for a refresh – it can grow and evolve over time, responding to the changing landscape of music education. I’m delighted that we have been able to act upon consultation with the sector to develop plans to reflect the diversity of instruments that are being taught across the UK. Input from experts in Latin American percussion and djembe has really enriched the percussion curriculum, and it’s wonderful to have the bass guitar fully represented. Work is now well underway for a brand new section on tabla, and it’s a privilege to be able to work with so many skilled practitioners to create something so valuable and inclusive.”

The online resource is suitable for all music educators at any stage in their career and aims to support them in their teaching practice and help develop a holistic approach to music education. The digital format of each instrumental curriculum makes it easy to plan for progression and the universal content offers guidance on a range of professional aspects including EDI, planning, links to the music curriculum and the use of technology.

Take a look at the full range of instrumental curricula and explore the new content here.

Watch below as Catherine Brenntnall demonstrates how you can use A Common Approach in your teaching practice.