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Youth Music quality framework

Youth Music quality framework

What is the quality framework?

Youth Music’s quality framework, Do, Review, Improve is a tool to help you plan for and evaluate quality in your work. The resource contains:

  • A list of quality criteria 
  • Glossary of key terms
  • Organisational responsibilities to be considered in programme planning
  • Links to further guidance and resources.

The quality framework can be used by anyone leading a music-making session with children and young people - it’s designed to be flexible and can be used in planning and reflection sessions, for peer observations, as an evaluation tool, or as part of your organisational training and induction.

As part of this suite of resources you'll find additional versions for working with disabled young people and with babies and toddlers, as well as real-life example of how the criteria look in practice.

Working with young people online

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, many organisations have moved their music sessions online. The easing of lockdown restrictions means that many are now recommencing face-to-face delivery. But it’s likely that many organisations will continue to offer a blended approach of online sessions alongside in-person activity.

This version of the Quality Framework aims to support organisations and music leaders working online by highlighting best practice and additional considerations when working digitally.

Working with young Disabled musicians

Youth Music believes in the social model of disability, which states that people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment. This version of the quality framework aims to support practitioners working with Disabled young people by offering additional information to help remove participatory barriers, as well as exemplifying good practice. It was developed in collaboration with Drake Music, leaders in music, disability and technology.  

Working with children in Early Years settings

Early Years music-making is a key priority for Youth Music. We recognise the unique potential of music-making to help shape the musical lives of all children aged 5 and under, giving them a positive start at an early age.

The Early Years version of the Youth Music Quality Framework has been produced following feedback from grantholders as well as consultation with academics, music leaders and other experts in Early Years music-making. In this version of the framework we have made some changes to make it more suitable for an Early Years context, with acknowledgement of the unique differences and challenges that are specific to working with this age group.

Young people centered


Music leader practice


Session content