by Author NeilPhillipsAYM

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Awards for Young Musicians and Charanga create the Online Individual Learning Plan

Awards for Young Musicians (AYM) and Charanga are developing a powerful tool, the Online Individual Learning Plan, or Online ILP, to support young people’s independent learning and progression; a resource that is being piloted by teachers, learners, music services and Hubs across the country.

In the coming months, recruiting new students and helping others make up for lost time will be key. Using this brand-new tool, teachers and young people will be able to explore a wide range of musical activities together, and set goals and targets based on each student's interests and needs.

Now halfway through our project, we’re excited to share some background to the Online ILP’s development, which emerged from AYM’s Furthering Talent programme.

Furthering Talent

The Furthering Talent programme is supporting nearly 400 young people across England (Youth Music is a major funder). At its heart is the Individual Learning Plan (ILP).  This places the core principles of personalised learning, multi-partner input and the valuing of each child’s individual journey towards a musical life at the very centre of the programme.

Every child on Furthering Talent has their own ILP. Students and teachers have a conversation at the beginning of each term and set three goals. The ILP aims to look at their wider progression as we assume that a student will already be working towards technical goals. They might want to explore different genres of music, or write their own song. They might want to go and see a show with a parent/carer. Or the goal might focus on more social elements: building up their confidence to perform a short piece for their family, for example. Or it could be to research local musical opportunities. The aim is to really open up the young person’s mind to the size of the music world and all its potential journeys.

By having a more personalised conversation with the young person, music leaders get to know what may work for them, what obstacles they may be facing, what support they have at home and what their aspirations are. They can then agree goals together based on each child’s individual circumstances, personal tastes and ambitions.

This result is young people taking greater ownership of their musical journey. We’ve found that by giving them agency over their own music they are far more likely to continue and flourish.

And the stats back this up. Between April 2018 and April 2020, Furthering Talent saw a learning continuation rate of 92%.

We’ve also found that this individual approach to each student’s circumstances is more important than ever when Covid-19 means face to face time is limited (and not allowed at all at the time of writing) and music leaders are having to think more creatively about ways to support and encourage their students’ progression.

By autumn 2021, Furthering Talent will be supporting around 550 young people, but the ambition is to reach many more.

Charanga and their reach

Like AYM Charanga are advocates of the personalised learning approach, so there was real synergy in working together.

Through developing an online version of the Individual Learning Plan we want to enable tens of thousands of young people across the UK to take even greater charge of their musical learning.

This work is possible thanks to both Charanga’s considerable contribution and a generous grant from AYM’s ongoing partners Youth Music plus another major Trust.

It's useful to look at Charanga’s current reach to show how the Online ILP usage can be introduced and then scaled up:

100 Hubs have a formal relationship with Charanga and use their platform to support teaching and learning. Where Charanga don’t have a relationship with the Hub, they support music learning via their Charanga Direct service.  Over 11,000 schools and 2,000 instrumental teachers currently use Charanga: that’s 41,000 music teachers each week.

Covid-19 has driven a large increase in the number of teachers using Charanga. Each teacher can set up their students with access to Yumu, the child-facing part of Charanga’s online platform. Here they can securely access materials and collaborate. 450,249 children have joined Yumu this academic year alone, while over 1.2 million students have access to it in total.  

These figures are why this partnership is so exciting. By working together we can provide a tried and tested tool for thousands of teachers and students.

The prototype: take a look

The Individual Learning Plan starts with a meeting between teacher and learner.  This video shows how the Online ILP works, including how teachers can set up their students with Yumu access and interact with each young person and create an online Individual Learning Plan.

Next steps

However, this is just Phase 1 of this project. Phase 2 has two distinct aspects which we’ll be working on simultaneously:

Firstly Charanga will be adding many more features to Yumu to support young people’s independent learning and progression, to tie in with their ILP. For example:

  • Links out from Yumu to local opportunities for ensemble playing, live music, and other arts activities
  • Embedding an online studio in Yumu to enable young people to create, record or produce their own music.
  • Links to information about music related qualifications so they can see the potential for employment options in the industry.
  • A place for students to upload, store and track their achievements.

The second aspect of Phase 2 is about exploring how we can make the ILP approach work across a much wider range of settings, from small group to whole class and home learning, making progression routes more accessible for every young person, regardless of their circumstances.

So how can I get involved?

If your Hub is on the AYM Furthering Talent programme, the Online ILP will be available to your teachers soon. Charanga partner Hubs can also get involved, as can schools.

For more information please contact Neil Phillips, Furthering Talent Programme Manager: