by Author Adam Cookson

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Youth Music’s Quality Framework: 2017 Edition

We're pleased to launch a new version of our Quality Framework - updated and simplified for 2017!

Youth Music’s Quality Framework – Do, Review, Improve – gathers together the criteria we believe are necessary to deliver a high-quality music-making session. The updated version is based on feedback gathered from grantholders since the original framework was published back in 2014. We realised that although the framework was a useful tool, it was also quite long and complicated. The changes to the new version should make it easier for practitioners to use. We've reduced and simplified the criteria, and at the same time aligned them with current thinking around best practice and effective pedagogical approaches. We've also added a section that outlines the important responsibilities of organisations when managing a music-making project. This will help grantholders to consider the quality of their project as a whole, as well as each individual session.

Revising the Quality Framework has been a collaborative process involving a range of stakeholders. We began by holding a workshop for Youth Music’s Grants & Learning Team in which we critically examined the framework’s criteria. From these discussions, we were able to redraft the framework, reducing the total number of criteria from 23 to 17. We then asked for input from selected academics to help us hone the revised criteria further.

In May this year, we held a series of Grantholder Gatherings across the country for organisations currently receiving Youth Music funding.  At each event, we presented grantholders with the new Quality Framework, and asked them for any comments or questions. Using this valuable feedback, we were able to make some final changes, to ensure that the framework is as clear and concise as possible and that it accurately reflects the pedagogical approaches taken by Youth Music-funded projects.

Now that the updated Quality Framework has been released, we're collecting examples of how our grantholders meet the new criteria in their work. Once we have collated them, we'll put this together into an extended version of Do, Review, Improve.  If you would like to share an example of how your organisation implements any of the criteria in the Quality Framework, please post a reply to this blog, or email

You may also be aware that last year, Youth Music and Drake Music worked in partnership to release Do, Review, Improve… A quality framework for use in music-making sessions working with young people in SEN/D settings.  We're currently revising this document too, to ensure that the examples and information fit with the new criteria.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us to revise the Quality Framework (and to create the original version) - it's a document based on shared learning and experience, so we really do appreciate the input.


Photo from the Family Jam pilot project in London run by Groundswell Arts.