About Us

Musical Futures

Musical Futures is a movement to reshape music education driven by teachers for teachers. At its heart is a set of pedagogies that bring non-formal teaching and informal learning approaches into more formal contexts, in an attempt to provide engaging, sustainable and relevant music making activities for all young people.

Our core aim is to promote, support and develop innovative and high quality teaching and learning of music through MF approaches in schools across the UK

What defines Musical Futures in practice?

  • A variety of non-formal and informal teaching and learning approaches grounded in secure pedagogy
  • Practical work on instruments/voice, creating authentic musical experiences
  • Aural learning, that fully integrates listening with practical music making, improvising and composing
  • Students are motivated and engaged by music they value and that is relevant to them, before moving onto other musical and learning styles
  • Technique, notation and other forms of written instruction are part of the process but are developed through practical playing
  • Teachers and practitioners act as facilitators, through showing rather than telling, and through guiding and modelling rather than instructing
  • Develops skills and confidence in teachers enabling them to deliver high quality MF approaches

What we do

Musical Futures is a Paul Hamlyn Foundation special initiative. It began in 2003 when the Paul Hamlyn Foundation instigated an initiative to find new and imaginative ways of engaging all young people in meaningful music activities.

As a ‘movement’ Musical Futures has always operated from the ground-up. The people who do the bulk of the Musical Futures work are teachers and practitioners in classrooms, who take the Musical Futures approaches and implement them, often with little or no additional funding.

Centrally we aim to respond to the needs of teachers, practitioners and others who are using the Musical Futures approaches.

The work of Musical Futures falls into four main areas:

Training and professional development

Musical Futures delivers more than 60 training and CPD courses per year. All courses are run by Musical Futures ‘champion teachers’ – i.e. those who have been delivering Musical Futures themselves and have experience and practical guidance to share with others. Training is free of charge, and open to anybody to attend.

Resource production

Musical Futures commissions and collects resources showing how teachers can deliver high quality, relevant music making projects and approaches in their classroom. Musical Futures has also produced a selection of research and reports about how to engage learners in the music classroom.


Musical Futures runs an online network for music teachers, as well as running local networking events, and national conferences and Teach Meets.

MF Special Projects

Musical Futures regularly works in partnership with other organisations to deliver new and exciting projects, usually culminating in has always worked in partnership with other organisations to deliver exciting projects. These have involved the Royal Opera House,