Working with PGCE students & Universities


Think2020 is our 3 year strategic programme, funded by Youth Music to help improve SEND music education in the following ways:

  • workforce development
  • organisational development
  • improved opportunities for musical progression
  • increased awareness of disabling barriers.


Working with Universities

As part of Year 1 of the Think2020 programme we worked with 3 universities – Birmingham City, Exeter University and Bristol University – to train their PGCE music cohorts.

One of the aims of Think2020 is to increase the visibility and profile of disabled music leaders, to inspire the next generation of young disabled musicians.

So, we were pleased that in Bristol this session was co-delivered by Jonathan Westrup and our new trainee Associate Musician Jordan Andow, who identifies as disabled.

We’ve worked with around 30 trainees over the 3 cohorts studying for a PGCE in music – typical of the small numbers of students taking this course.

We have been incredibly pleased with the response from the students, who are very keen to develop use of Accessible Music Technology in their teaching to remove barriers to music and have engaged in valuable self reflective practice as part of our sessions.

Responses from Students

From our evaluation we have seen that the students who have responded feel:

  • more confident to identify barriers to disabled musicians after taking part in the session
  • that our session will help them meet the teaching standards for Qualified Teacher Status
  • that the sessions has influenced their understanding of disabled people as musicians
  • more confident in their ability to remove or reduce barriers to music making

We had a strong sense that the student teachers were challenged by our session and we hope this will lead to a stronger, informed approach to removing disabling barriers to music in the future.

Here are some inspiring statements the student teachers gave in response to our session:

“My sister is disabled so I have always been aware of the barriers, however I now know ways that I can help her to become involved and also inclusion within the classroom.”

“I will ensure that equal opportunities are available within my classroom and that no one is discouraged from taking music at a higher level.”

“This has changed my perceptions about what is music”

“This session has opened my eyes to the fact that disabled people participate in music in a way that is no different to a non-disabled musician. Disabled musicians just need to be identified and included in lesson content in innovative ways.”

If you are working on a PGCE course and would like support to develop your students’ understanding of disabling barriers and how to remove them please contact our head office.

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