by Author NeilPhillipsAYM

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Identifying Talent and Potential - what are you really learning about your music students?

Photo by Joe Singh of snaprockandpop

We need to rethink how we are identifying musical potential. So much of what we traditionally do is just highlighting those who make mistakes. We’re putting up barriers and pointing out errors rather than spotting those who are demonstrating potential.

We're proud to share the attached story of a twelve-year, ongoing collaboration, Identifying Musical Potential (IMP) between Awards for Young Musicians, a national music charity, and Hugh Nankivell, a freelance social musician and music educator. The approach we pioneered together is still being shared and explored with music leaders and Music Hubs all over England, and further afield. We learned a great deal from our first action research in 2008, which has since developed into a long-term training programme. In this piece we share the key learning we discovered and offer some tips on how music leaders can rethink how they are spotting musical potential when working with groups. We've also recently invested in some new film resources which will support the development of this training, and we are looking forward to sharing them with the sector soon.

You can read more about this strand of our work here: