How MF Are You? Advice for Taking MF Further

Advice, guidance and support for delivering Musical Futures

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Being clear on the pedagogy of Musical Futures and being able to apply the approaches in all your teaching with students of all age groups is key to the success of MF. If you haven’t looked at the Musical Futures core principles recently, it’s worth reminding yourself of the non-negotiables. Once you have been using the approaches for a while, it’s easy to slip into habits that you have developed which can sometimes move away from the Musical Futures core values rather than embed them. Below are some steps that suggest how you could move forward with embedding Musical Futures into the ethos of your department.

Non Negotiables

  • Provide the means for students to learn aurally in the correct key. Notation can and should be used but not as the only means for learning the notes/chords/lyrics. No aural learning=No Musical Futures
  • Be careful that projects don’t become performances only. Composing, improvising and listening should be integrated into every lesson
  • Allow students to work with friends. You can always have some input into group choices later if you judge that it’s needed
  • Allow for dips in learning and motivation. If you’re getting it right they will work through these with your support
  • Start off by allowing choice over repertoire, but this doesn’t mean you can’t use the approaches with music in other styles and genres at a later date

Step 1 Out of hours opportunities  If you’ve got Musical Futures sorted within your curriculum, have you checked to ensure there are extra curricular opportunities available for students that don’t read notation or have instrumental tuition outside school? A fully inclusive extra curricular offer that is accessible to all students can result in a higher number of students with special educational needs and disabilities and those from lower income families getting involved in large scale performances and shows

Step 2 Parents: Do parents have the chance to acknowledge the achievements of their children in music? Raising the profile of Musical Futures work with parents can happen through performances or enabling students to access recordings of their work via phone voice recorders or online. Assembly performances are great for showcasing work to other staff who might not normally attend a performance and local press, the school website and social media can all be useful means of communication.

Step 3 Advocate: Social media has massive potential, but only if as many Musical Futures advocates as possible join in, share and push debate. You can network with us in various ways

Step 4 Share: If you are doing great work, and have an idea or resource that other teachers might find useful we would love to hear from you!

Click here to join our Facebook group and discuss your approach with other teachers.


Top Tips

  • Try and include all the different Musical Futures approaches-informal learning, classroom workshopping, band instrumental skills, using your voice, mobile technology into lessons with students of every age and ability
  • Think about using student voice to give students more input into what and how they study in your lessons, thus retaining the element of choice when you may need to prescribe content
  • Keep music lessons musical and think about how you can embed approach into all lessons including exam classes and with older students if you have them