At Rhythmix we are constantly seeking to build skills in our region, both within our own working team and beyond. So we are, as you would expect, very supportive of the new Level 4 Certificate for Music Education.
Assessment and accreditation of the music education sector can and should lead to a better workforce in the future, with young people the undoubted beneficiaries of trained and highly skilled music leaders.
However, It has been a constant thread of the discussions between what we used to generally refer to as the "formal" and "non-formal" music educations sectors (broadly those working through the local music services and those working through other suppliers or as freelancers - yes, we know, it's a terrible generalisation!) about how to assess and achieve that accreditation for an existing workforce that includes some of our best music leaders.
We hope that the Level 4 Certificate of Music Education (CME) will be able to address this need.
The proposal we have currently seen from Trinity College includes a requirement to undertake 320 hours of learning time, including 185 hours of guided learning, underpinned by a currently unquantified statement that "Learners with significant prior knowledge and experience will require less time." This statement is the key to encouraging the development of the CME as the accepted "kite mark" for quality assurance, and thereby inspiring confidence in the potential clients in schools and elsewhere that a music leader with a CME is genuinely "the best of the best". For the CME to achieve that standard, a model of accreditation with a very substantially reduced time and financial commitment will be required.
If the CME can only represent newly qualified music educators, it will undermine its own intent from launch, and runs the risk of pitting newly qualified, accredited but untested CME holders against a highly skilled, established workforce with years of experience, knowledge and connections.
Rhythmix itself might consider becoming a provider of of the certificate, sitting alongside and integrating with our existing CPD and Training, but we currently feel unable to do that whilst it remains unclear who will quantifiy the impact of experience and existing skills upon the required learning time.
We look forward to seeing proposals from Trinity, ABRSM and others that take on board the needs of existing excellent practitioners.