Certificate for Music Educators

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What is the Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators (CME)?

The CME has been developed by representatives from the music education sector for musicians who are involved in musical learning activities for children and young people. It is designed to encourage all music educators, from those who are new to the workforce to those who are highly experienced, to develop new skills, consolidate their understanding of the purposes of music education and encourage best practice in their contribution to children and young people’s knowledge, skills and understanding of music.

The new Certificate aims to:

  • support inspiring, progressive and motivational learning from the effective work of music educators for children and young people
  • be relevant to all music educators regardless of their position and stage in their career
  • offer music educators the opportunity to improve their skills, knowledge and understanding of the principles and practice of working with children and young people in music education
  • - enhance professional practice in music education to the benefit of schools, music education hubs, local authorities, music organisations,  community music organisations and other organisations or individuals that employ musicians to work with children and young people
  • be flexible, accessible and achievable to busy music educators
  • offer a potential route of progression from the Level 3 Certificate for Creative and Cultural Practitioners Working with children and young people
  • facilitate progression to higher level qualifications

The Certificate has been designed to improve the knowledge and skills of music educators and raise the quality of the experience for children and young people wherever they encounter musical learning.

Is the CME the same as the QME and the MEQ?

Yes, the QME and MEQ were working titles for the certificate that were used in early development stages and followed the terms used in the Henley Report recommendations. The final and full title of the award is now Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators (CME).

What are the entry requirements?

Part of the enrolment process will involve checking that you are suitable for the qualification, such as having the skills and experience in music practice. You do not need to have any formal qualification in music or in working with children and young people to enrol for CME because this can be checked in any number of ways including a CV or references.

What does CME consist of?

The Certificate is made up of six units. Each unit relates to specific knowledge and skills that music educators should be able to demonstrate in order to work with children and young people. These are:

  • understanding children and young people’s musical learning
  • planning, facilitating and evaluating children and young people’s musical learning
  • reflective practice and professional development
  • promoting children and young people’s positive behaviour
  • equality, diversity and inclusion in music education
  • safeguarding children and young people in music education

All units must be completed to achieve the full Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators. Assessment of each unit will be through a portfolio of evidence, including practical demonstration in the real work environment.

Why do we need CME?

The CME builds on recommendations in the Creative Blueprint series of research, published by Creative & Cultural Skills between 2009 and 2011. This identified the need to improve the professional development opportunities for creative practitioners who work with children and young people in a range of settings.

The CME also responds to the Henley Report, A Review of Music Education in England for the Department of Education and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (September 2010). The report set out 36 key recommendations, including the introduction of a new qualification for music educators that would ‘professionalise and acknowledge their role in and out of school’.

It follows a period of consultation with music industry stakeholders that generated almost 500 responses. Seventy per cent of those consulted supported the introduction of the Certificate. 

Why do I need CME?

Any professional, regardless of their field, continues to develop their knowledge and skills throughout their career. This can be done informally through personal study and practice or formally through courses and qualifications. The CME has been designed by the music education sector to support formal professional development so that music educators can continue to develop their knowledge and skills.

Does the CME award QTS?

The Certificate has not been designed to replace formal teacher training and it has not been designed as a mandatory requirement for employment as a music educator. We understand that some musicians might want to progress on to teacher training (PGCE) and the CME will give them a good starting knowledge of working in the music education sector should they wish to do this.

I already have a PGCE. Do I need CME?

The CME is not a mandatory requirement for teaching, but some practitioners may choose to complete it to top-up or refresh their skills, particularly if they completed their teaching qualification some time ago.

Will employers and pupils expect me to have CME?

It has not been designed to be a mandatory requirement for employment, but we hope the sector will gradually offer the qualification to music educators as standard.

What does holding the CME say about my ability as a performer?

CME is not designed to replace formal training for a musician and will not support the development of musical technique. However, it will be evidence of a practitioner’s ability to engage children and young people in their musical learning through high quality approaches to music making within an education setting.

Why is the Arts Council involved in the development of qualifications?

The Arts Council has made it a priority to raise the standard of work for, by and with children and young people. The development of CME will help to improve music educators’ skills and develop reflective practice so that children and young people can be assured of the highest quality learning wherever they experience music education.

How has the qualification been developed?

The Arts Council and Creative & Cultural Skills have been working with the music education sector to develop the CME. A steering group of expert music educators led the development and were supported by a larger working group who are advised on the technical makeup of each unit. The content of the qualification has now been agreed and Trinity College London and The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) are acting as seperate Awarding Organisations and leading on the accreditation and delivery models.

CME steering group membership:

Anne Appelbaum, Chair (Arts Council England)

Jennie Godsalve (Creative & Cultural Skills)

Catherine Greeff (Creative & Cultural Skills)

Mark Novels (Consultant)

Richard Crozier (Consultant)

Maureen Hanke (Federation of Music Services)

Diane Widdison (Musicians Union)

Ian Burton (Nottingham Music Service)

Philip Flood (Sound Connections)

Pamela McCormick (Urban Development)

Edward Watkins (West London Free School)

Lincoln Abbotts (ABRSM)

Sean Gregory (Barbican)

Fran Hanley (Musicians Union)

Linda Merrick (Royal Northern College of Music)

Claire Mera-Nelson (Trinity Laban)

Fiona Harvey (Association of British Orchestras)

When will the new qualification be launched?

You will be able to sign up to take the qualification from September 2013.

How will I access the CME training and who pays for it?

Musicians will be able to access CME across the country, and we are working with a number of arts organisations to create a confirmed ‘list’ of approved CME ‘centres’.  This will be promoted by the Arts Council and Creative & Cultural Skills. The cost of the certificate is yet to be confirmed but we anticipate that musicians will need to contribute towards it.

What quality controls will be in place?

The CME has been developed and assessed by the music education sector so quality controls are coming from within the sector as the qualification develops. The certificate will be quality assured by Trinity College London and ABRSM. These organisations are also known as Awarding Bodies because they are able to award accredited qualifications.