At Musical Futures we take the ‘continuing’ of Continuing Professional Development seriously.
The content and approach of our CPD is a successful, tried-and-tested formula: practical, hands-on, where delegates are immersed in the process and practice of Musical Futures, whether through an introductory training day or a more specialized in-depth exploration of our models, for example our newly-designed Find Your Voice training sessions (starting in February).
However, following the pioneering example of the Teacher Development Trust, we will now explore in more depth with delegates what is it about their existing practice that they want to change by attending a Musical Futures session, and most importantly what is the long-term impact they hope to see on their students. We will be implementing a new evaluation framework around our CPD shortly to help delegates to reflect on this.
Feedback from delegates suggests that one of the benefits of a Musical Futures training session is meeting with like-minded teachers/practitioners, exchanging ideas and resources, and sharing concerns/issues around music learning in schools. Once these relationships have been formed, this needs to be continued. Following a Musical Futures course, regular Twitter chats are scheduled that build off the content of the session and enable practice sharing to continue. Trainers keep in contact with delegates, and address any issues that may arise. And six months after attending a course we will get in touch to see whether delegates have made any long-term changes to their practice, and what further support and development may be helpful, whether from Musical Futures or other training providers.
By teachers for teachers
Musical Futures CPD is not only delivered by practicing classroom teachers, who have an implicit knowledge and deep understanding of what implementing Musical Futures involves, but it is co-designed by them as well. We hold annual training for our team of Teacher Associates who work with us to ensure Musical Futures CPD is operating within the most effective framework for teachers and practitioners.
Find Your Voice
We have re-launched our Find Your Voice training programme for 2015. It became apparent that while we have seen remarkable take-up with Find Your Voice, there has been an over reliance on our materials. The intention with Musical Futures is that it should be viewed as a flexible pedagogy that can and should be adapted to individual students’ needs, not as a content-driven scheme of work. The focus of Find Your Voice training is to start at the end. What is the point of doing this work with students? What skills do we want them to acquire? Delegates will then explore in depth the process of exploring and creating music using voices and integrating technology, rather than being repertoire driven. Our App and Website then contain a toolkit of practical resources and ideas for classroom implementation.
Just as Musical Futures in the classroom emphasises the process of learning music, so too does our CPD. And we know that what works well this year, will undoubtedly need adapting next year. Musical Futures CPD is not about navigating a car to a destination and turning off the engine. It is about jumping in a camper van, filling it with like-minded people, and keeping on driving.