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We missed you at the Spring Summit!

27th March 2024

For those of you who were unable to join us at the 2024 Spring Summit, here’s a brief summary of what happened:


Arrival, coffee, pastries and lots of conversation!

HertsArts started the day by reminding us that “When words fail, music speaks”. Two young people in the Looked After system – Millie and Chanelle – provided a really professional and confident presentation telling us some very powerful stories. We were reminded that musical learning can result in confidence, fun, pride, breaking down barriers, a means of communication, and building communities. It was noted that the process can often be more valuable than the outcome. “Build it and they will come” – but build it with the children and young people. GOLD – Greater Opportunity for Learning Development – is at the heart of HertsArts!

Inspiring Music, Bedfordshire gave us the stat that 15% of pupils in mainstream schools will have an additional need – that’s 4 to 5 pupils per class, or over 1 million children in England alone! They suggested that sometimes you have to be exclusive to be inclusive and that you often need to “find that hook to make a difference”. It was suggested that teachers should create the space to give every pupil what they need to succeed and think about what progress will look like for each child. Music services should schedule time for their teachers to prepare and more importantly reflect – ‘what worked?’

Swansea Music Service reminded us about the new Welsh National Curriculum and how ‘Belonging’ is at the heart of it. Their work in a PRU centred around a ‘flexible approach’, but the music leaders – an instrumental teacher and a music therapist, both recognised the importance of ensuring the young people had consistency, routines and relationships. “Music can awaken potential”.

“I really enjoyed other MEH leading sessions and sharing best practice and successful projects they have been working on. It is really great to share these in a safe space.”  – Attendee feedback


Lunch – lots of sandwiches, cake and more chat

In the afternoon we started with a presentation about research that Music Mark will be doing linked to our new campaign This is Not A Rehearsal which launches on Earth Day, the 22nd of April 2024. Working with Ross Purves from the Institute of Education, the research will investigate what is being done and what help the sector needs. We were told that Sustainability means “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” and recognised that with music we can look at both practical action and creative responses.

After some cake and a cuppa, our second presentation of the afternoon was from Sound Connections and Faber who consulted music teachers across the UK to find out what resources and support they access but also what they need. Sadly, A Common Approach wasn’t name-checked, but it was really interesting to hear what was said.

The PowerPoint slides will provide some useful food for thought for us at Music Mark and heads of service and hub leaders when thinking about the workforce – such as the importance of informal and formal networks to address isolation. Actions for Music Mark particularly are around the feedback from teachers that they want online CPD and need help to find resources – we can certainly help there! And the day finished with a note that many teachers referenced inclusion and diversity in their conversations with researchers.

“It was very insightful, thought provoking and there was also a good amount of time for networking and catching up with colleagues from other services and hubs.” – Attendee feedback

To close the day, Music Mark’s Chair spoke of the challenges the sector is facing, perhaps particularly in England, but also across the UK. However, Peter assured everyone that we will rise to meet them as we all want and will do what we can to ensure a great music education for all children and young people.

Music Mark Members can click here to watch recordings of the day.

Bridget Whyte

CEO, Music Mark