Exchanging Notes

Exchanging Notes is a four year Youth Music-funded initiative to establish effective models of partnership-working between school and specialist music education providers in order to:

  • Enable young people at risk of low attainment, disengagement or educational exclusion to achieve the best musical, educational and wider outcomes.
  • Promote a collective understanding of high quality music education, stimulating fresh thinking in music and education practice

Exchanging Notes aims to see how participation in regular music-making activities can enable achievement of musical, educational and wider outcomes.

Over a four year period, Birmingham City University will be undertaking a longitudinal evaluation of the work and supporting the projects using an action research approach.

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Rhapsody in Ealing: A four year musical adventure

Rhapsody in Ealing is Drake Music’s Exchanging Notes project in partnership with Belvue School and Ealing Music Hub which is taking place over 4 years.

We are modelling a new way of delivering Peri work. There isn’t as much high quality provision for one-to-one sessions for SEN/D as there is in mainstream education.

Traditional ‘one-to-one music lessons’ for non-disabled young people can spark a ‘lifelong’ relationship with music, allowing them to progress either as professional instrumentalists/singers, or as a hobby which carries through from childhood to adulthood.

Our aim is to do the same: spark a lifelong relationship with playing an instrument.

As the project is taking place over 4 years we are able to work with Birmingham university to evaluate the impact of long term regular music lessons and its wider impact of those involved.

Year one

The project began in 2014 with Drake Music Associate Musicians being resident at Belvue School for two days a week. This school and format was chosen as a direct result of our work with them on previous Ramp it Up project.  The musicians delivered:

  • Peripatetic music lessons

This project was the first time that Drake Music used a long-term delivery model of peripatetic teaching using the Sounds of Intent framework to track musical progression. We have been so pleased with its success that we will now be rolling it out as part of our wider strategic programme in other regions.

  • Curriculum support and class co-delivery

Through the delivery of curriculum support sessions with the music co-ordinator over a long period of time, we have found that the long term relationship with the music co-ordinator has been invaluable for planning and reflection and has helped balance formal and non-formal outcomes, delivery and assessment for Drake Music and the school.

Find a summary of our first year here

Year two

We are currently in our second year of the project. We are continuing to deliver peripatetic music lessons alongside curriculum support and class co-delivery and have also included a third strand:

  • Research and Development

A new class are working with a Drake Music Associate Musician on a Research and Development project which will pilot the use of a new music technology instrument. The young people will help develop and lead on the instrument’s use and evaluation.

As we look towards year three and four there will be more opportunities for playing in an ensemble along with performance opportunities for the young people involved.

CPD & Training

As well as delivery in schools we continue to work with Ealing Music Hub and 5 other special schools providing specialist CPD and training for teachers.

Our Drake Music Associates regularly blog about the project, sharing their learning and examples of the music created.

To find out more, have a look here