For the past year, I have been taking a course at Bristol Plays Music called ‘The Inclusive Practitioner' through which I gained a Certificate for Music Educators Level 4. I had been taking monthly trips to Bristol to attend sessions with a group of other people who came from from different musical backgrounds and a variety of working environments. It was very interesting to see how other people lead music session and one of the days in which we shared each others practise, by leading mini-workshops was very interesting.
Some of the other practitioners on the course could be labelled as ‘disabled’. BPM (Bristol Plays Music) made ‘reasonable adjustments’, such as giving audio descriptions when watching films and videos on course days, and providing an alternative Powerpoint, making the course more accessible. The coursework that we submitted did not have to be done as a written essay, but could be a film, an audio diary or other formats. This meant that the work submitted was multi-sensory and the use of written language was not necessary.
The course is aimed at music leaders as a resource to develop their skills as music leaders working with “disabled young people”. The course included looking into young people’s musical development as a major project within the course. I think this was particularly useful for me, as it informed some of the work that I have done with Turning Tides working in primary schools. However, I think that one way in which the course could be improved is by looking at the how older people develop musically. My work with the Turning Tides Project, is not only with young people, but with people of all ages.
I think one of the things that I learned from taking the course was to evaluate my work. As part of my coursework, I built up a personal portfolio and as a relatively inexperienced music leader, I found this very useful. This allowed me to reflect on my practise and find areas in which I could improve. One thing that came up that I find was an important area for me to improve was my confidence. I think that this is something that I have greatly improved on in the past year, but there is always room for improvement.
Written by Tom Burns, Published by Dom Palfreman
** There will be a follow up blog/vlog to this one, that takes a look at the course in further detail**