We have been reflecting on two of areas of our CPD programme we are delivering through New Ambition – The Inclusive Practitioner foundation course run over four days and delivered by Phil Mullen and Ways into Workshops a weekend residential course for music leaders delivered by Hugh Nankivell, Steve Lewis, Sandra Barefoot and Alex Lupo. We have met with trainers and participants to get feedback
The Inclusive Practitioner
All participants felt they had increased their understanding of what it is to be an inclusive practitioner except one who said;
“No, it has affirmed some understanding, made me think about my practice but question the difference in roles of teacher/facilitator/leader/practitioner “
“I think it’s good to have some proven theories to back up my regular practice”
To many it was the first time they had been introduced to the theories behind the work they are doing.
The group was a mixed one with music leaders at the start of their practice and those who were more experienced so responses to the course delivery varied:
What did participants find particularly useful?
“Practical games/ideas to encourage inclusion”
“The discussions amongst other practitioners”
“Reflective practice group discussion, integrating theories about groups and inclusivity with planning music sessions”
“Looking at barriers to progression”
There was a lot of ground covered over the four days supplemented by worksheets and reading lists.
The Inclusive Practitioner Residential – Ways into Workshops
Participants were asked to feedback on what they understood by inclusive practice:
“Practice that is accessible to anyone and enables everyone to participate and contribute to their full potential and have their voice accepted and valued”
“Making musical workshops accessible and enjoyable for all involved, reflecting on practice and ensuring everyone involved in sessions gets the most out of it and feels included, valuable and heard. The actual term ‘inclusive practice’ wasn’t used much but rather implied!”
What they would say to other music educators about Ways into Workshops?:
“Wholly recommend – fun, thought provoking, demanding (to be open and give something of yourself). Meet great people in an amazing environment. Very experienced leaders, able to diversify and adjust sessions for maximum effect on learning. Trustworthy environment, enabling exploration and sharing”
“It was a great experience. I learned a lot without it being too daunting. I picked up lots of new ideas and can approach delivery workshops in a more confident manner”
And what ways we could improve the experience:
“Make the weekend longer!”
“I don’t think it’s suitable for people who are tech based due to the nature of the jamming elements. The singing supper downstairs was fun, but the session upstairs felt very long”
“Longer! Therefore more opportunity for breakout sessions & personalisation. More information on what to prepare and expect beforehand”
What have we learned?
- We need more information about whom and why musicians want to participate in CPD so that right from the start trainers can tailor training effectively.
- Participants need to take an active part in their learning and be encouraged to demonstrate how they are using new skills and knowledge in their practice.
- Leaving too long between training sessions can result in learning being disjointed
- Residential was not long enough
- Planning and reflection between project staff and trainers and follow up with participants needs to be built into the course
- Communication between all parties must be clear
- Perceptions of accessibility differ – we need to ensure anyone involved with any specific needs are fully involved in ensuring facilities are fully accessible.
How we are responding to reflections?
- Before the next Inclusive Practitioner course and Ways into Workshops all participants will be asked what their motivation and expectations are about the courses and any other information that will help the course leaders in delivering the courses
- Length of time between training days will be less.
- Residential will be extended by a further day with one day follow up
- There will be assignments to encourage learning outside the training days
- Planning and reflection time will be included for trainers
- Observation and/or skype/telephone support will be offered to participants
- Project processes will be improved to ensure better communication between all parties
We will be delivering the Inclusive Practitioner Foundation course starting on October 17th and Residential between February 24th - 26th 2017 taking into account the feedback from this first year. You are welcome to participate! Click here for more details http://www.bristolplaysmusic.org/listen