Primary Music Magazine Issue 8.0: Autumn 2023

Page 12

Spotting Musical Potential in the Primary Classroom by Naomi Wellings

Imagine walking into a noisy classroom, children all engaged in exploring an instrument they’ve chosen from a selection on the floor in front of them. The noise suggests chaos but what else is going on? Now think how often you’ve allowed this to happen. How often are we normally able, as educators, to let children explore and experiment without feeling the pressure to keep the noise levels down, or to get on with what comes next in the curriculum? What if, rather than planning every minute of every lesson, there was an occasional opportunity to allow children space and time to be creative and curious, or to allow them to follow an avenue you hadn’t expected. And what happens when you step back and observe?

Awards for Young Musicians (AYM) supports talented young people from low-income families, helping them to overcome financial and social barriers they face to progression. We know that due to family circumstances, culture or background, some children don’t show obvious potential due to lack of prior musical experience and opportunity. To help redress this inequity, we’ve developed our Identifying Musical Talent and Potential programme (ITP) in partnership with Lead Facilitator Hugh Nankivell. This is closely aligned to The National Plan for Music Education’s (NPME) vision to enable “all children and young people to learn to sing, play an instrument and create music together, and have the opportunity to progress their musical interests and talents, including professionally.”

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