Think22 Inclusive Music Education Programme – Autumn Update


With the Autumn term well underway we are working with our partners across Music Education to continue to advocate for, and deliver, inclusive and accessible music-making, both in and out of schools.

With many of our team still shielding we have not yet resumed in-person activities, but we are developing and exploring ways of delivering music-making remotely.

Young people's faces appear on a computer screen in a zoom call
Image credit: Charles Deluvio


With our Think22 partners this remote activity is taking different forms:

We are working with THAMES to deliver our Soundbox inclusive ensemble joint project via Zoom, which resulted in a fantastic performance in the summer. With our partners over in Newham Music we are running online mentoring sessions for their team, developing their confidence and practice in delivering inclusively. The team at Coventry Music Hub are taking great steps forward and are looking at how to diversify their workforce and bring more Disabled music leaders into their team. Read Mark Steele’s fantastic blog all about it.

Alison Porter from THAMES commented:

“During these strange times, finding ways to make music together is more important than ever. We are so pleased that Soundbox has been able to continue over the last few months, despite the many challenges the world has been facing. Whilst Zoom isn’t a perfect way of making music together, we were able to hold some wonderful Zoom sessions with Soundbox members and music leaders and created our very first music video – Cooking With Sounds! We had fun finding new ways of making music together, staying creative, staying connected.”

With so much adaptation going on we also want to take a moment, to breathe, pause and connect with our peers across the sector, to check in and share our new practices in these strange times.

We did this earlier in the summer when we hosted a lively and welcoming Zoom conversation with people from across Music Education and we are pleased to say that we have been invited by Music Mark to re-open that conversation at this year’s conference. Again it will be an inclusive, accessible format which will allow us all a moment to reflect and catch up with ourselves, and to pick up new ideas and energy for the coming months. Something I’m sure we all could do with!

Updates & Dates for your Diary

To kick off our Autumn partnership work with Hubs, on Saturday 26th Sept the Drake  MusicTeam (Cassie Gurling, Dav Shiel, Ben Sellers, Bea Hubble, Miryam Solomon and Kris Halpin) ran a joint training session for music tutors from both Newham and THAMES Hubs.

The session was focused on developing their understanding of the Social Model of Disability and its application into their classroom practice , to support their work in education to reach and be more accessible to Disabled young musicians. Find out more about the Inclusion and Music Tech in Practice course here.

On Tuesday 6th Oct we are taking part in Sound Connections’ Youth Voice Week (don’t forget to sign up and join us!). Conor, a member of the THAMES Soundbox Ensemble, will be contributing to a discussion on Youth Voice, Inclusion & Diversity

On Wednesday 14th Oct Cassie and Bea are presenting on Music Tech for Learners with Additional Needs as part of Music Technology in Education Online Conference, 12th-15th October 2020. Sign up via the link above.

On Friday 20th Nov the DM Think22 Team, including John Kelly, Becky Morris Knight and Douglas Noble, will be facilitating a session at the annual Music Mark Conference on the role of online provision in inclusive and accessible music education. Book your place. 

Plus, soon we will be announcing the topics and dates for our next series of Step Up! Webinars, along with details of our new training programme, available for you to bring in to your music education setting.

For more info keep your eyes on our Think22 Twitter feed and join the Music Teachers & Leaders group we host on Facebook.

Finally, I’d like to say a personal thank you to all our partners, team and participants for their energy and enthusiasm for this work during these challenging times.

About Think22

Think22 is a strategic programme of work bringing inclusive practice to the fore in music education nationally. Funded by Youth Music it is part of the national Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England, a collective of leading music organisations working together to promote diversity and cultural democracy in music education.

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