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Teach Through Music

Evaluating the efficacy and effectiveness of the Teach Through Music programme, which aims to support KS3 music teachers in London schools through enriching continuous professional development.

Teach music first

Researchers

Research background

Teach Through Music was a year-long professional development programme for KS3 music teachers in London schools, supported by the London Schools Excellence Fund. The evaluative report undertaken by Birmingham City University detailed a variety of perspectives on the programme, highlighting that the scheme was one of the only major occurrences of subject-specific continuing professional development (CPD) in music for many years.

Teach Through Music was funded by the Department for Education and the Mayor of London, and was delivered by Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, in partnership with Sound Connections, Trinity College London, The Barbican, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the University of Greenwich.

Research aims

The research considered the efficacy and effectiveness of the Teach Through Music programme. The research highlighted the significant impact on the lessons learned by participants, arts organisations, venues, administrators, and the Teach Through Music team. Recommendations were offered to help facilitate discussion as to possible next steps, and to help others involved in planning and delivering future work in this area. 

How was the research carried out?

A mixed methods approach was employed, involving both qualitative and quantitative approaches. On-line surveys were used in combination with qualitative data gained from interviews and free-text responses. Data were collected though visits to schools, interviews with participating teachers, observation of sessions, telephone and Skype interviews, and monitoring of on-line discussions via the portal. To find out more information, please read our evaluation document

Results

Teach Through Music was found to be an effective and, within given strictures cost-effective programme, for delivering CPD to London teachers through some of the following:

  • Involving leaders and speakers of the highest calibre 
  • Facilitating new networking opportunities and actualities for many teachers 
  • Focusing attention onto KS3 music and changing classroom practice and assessment for the better 
  • Developing the teachers’ own music making and introducing them to London arts organisations 
  • Challenging thinking through structured reflection 

The research had subsequent influence on the way the Teach Through Music team worked with teachers, musicians and partner organisations, has well as establishing a rigorous approach to evaluation. The report was also said to have been a deciding factor in securing an additional two years of funding.