by Author Jacqui Haigh

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What is Inclusive Practice?

Bristol's fund C programme - A New Ambition for Inclusive Excellence - has been set up to include workforce development through a number of methods based on the learning from our musical inclusion programme.

Through reflecting on workforce development needs during our musical inclusion prgramme, sound splash we recognised the importance of developing a workforce with skills, knowledge and committment to deliver quality music making to all children and young people. We listened to what music leaders wanted in terms of CPD.

Learning Styles

Learning through delivery

Music Leaders want to learn in a way that suits their learning style - some want to learn through practice with the support of experienced colleagues mentoring and sharing learning with them regularly.We have set up each project with trainees, Music Leaders and Activists who work together as a team.

Trainees are supported through both Music Leaders and Activists who work with them delivering music activities and mentor them through reflecting on sessions. Learning points that arise from practical work are identified and shared as a group at strand meetings organised by Activists who work as  a link between work on the ground and the overall strategy


Some want to train in a more structured way so a foundation course devised and led by Phil Mullen of four full days training focusing on key areas identified by music leaders has been set up. This is a course that has been CPD certified by the CPD certification Service so Music Leaders can add this to their CVs when applying for future work

Monday 23rd November 2015 - An Introduction to Inclusive Practice. Monday 11th January 2016 - Reflective Practice, Monday 25th April 2016 - Effective Engagement, Monday 13th June 2016 - Progression.

This will lead on to the opportunity to achieve the Certificate for Music Education Level 4 which will be built around our belief that best practice is always inclusive. Our CME will start delivery in September 2016


There is something unique about the experience gained through attending a well delivered residential course especially if it is in an beautiful place run by inspiring facilitators. Ways into Workshops will run twice a year throughout New Ambition and will involve those delivering projects and other spaces taken by musicians working with partner Hubs and organisations.

Hugh Nanikivell will lead the team of trainers along with Sandra Barefoot. They worked together on working with a group of music leaders developing their reflective practice  on sound splash changing perceptions and practice amongst the group through enabling them to have a safe space to share their triumphs and challenges. They will be joined by Steve Lewis whose knowledge and experience has inspired msuic leaders in past successful residentials. Alex Lupo, who is working as an Activist for the SEND strand of our work will join them to learn how to deliver this model of working.

Other Learning

As senior coordinator on this programme my learning has been around discovering how other art forms and organisations engage and work with diverse groups of people. I found Extraordinary Bodies Plays which was part of Bristol's Circus City programme. thought provoking and inspiring. Circus, theatre and dance welcome the challenge of diversity and rise to it in creative ways.

We are also working on a Traveller strand of work continuing our partnership with the Ethnic Minority and Travellers Achievement Service. through my research I am now in contact with the Travellers Movement I attended their conference following visits to local sites and traveller homes and have made contacts with others working across the country with traveller groups.

YM Network

All those involved in delivery on New Ambition are signed up to the YM Network so catch up with Lu Bristow and Alex Lupo's blogs.

Old School Learning!

The library which Music Leader set up as part of its legacy is coming into play with music leaders requesting books to learn from and brining together musicians as a Community of Practice is providing more opportunities to share.

New Ambition is a learning partnership of organisations and individuals committed to developing and sharing learning from trainees on the front line of delivery through to project managers and decision makers. We have an ethos of striving to improve whilst taking risks which sometimes leads to making mistakes that we can learn from.

Don't stop learning!

Keep talking to other people you don't know who you might meet! In my local pub I was talking to a neighbour and mentioned the work I am involved with only to find his wife is Head of Service for Bristol Fostering and Adoption!

Is there anybody out there?

I'd really value any other leads for traveller work if there is anyone out there working with them. I am also encouraging musicians to look around and find conferences, groups, organisations with which to share learning so do let us know of anything you are involved with that might be of interest. We are also happy to meet with you too!