Certificate for Music Educators at 10: Music Education Solutions' decade as a validated course provider
BY: Guest Writer
30 August 2023
Trinity's Certificate for Music Educators (CME) qualification is 10 years old this autumn. In this blog, we hear from Dr Liz Stafford, Director at Music Education Solutions - our first and longest running CME centre - about how her CME journey began and how it has evolved over the last decade.
When the Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators was first suggested as part of the original National Plan for Music Education (England), I went along to one of the open consultation events which were set up to guide the development of content for this qualification. Straight away I could see that this qualification could be really beneficial for the sector in a whole host of ways, and I came away excited to see how it would develop.
Fast forward a few months and I was at Trinity College London for meetings about another project and happened to get talking to the team who were putting together their version of the CME of Ofqual now that the content had been agreed. I jokingly said 'Maybe I'll set up a CME centre' and Chris Walters, who was leading on the CME at the time, said to me 'Why don't you?'. At first I thought there was no way I'd be able to do it - our company was very small and relatively new at the time, and the CME seemed like something way too 'official' to be handled by little old me! But the idea intrigued me and would not leave my brain over the next few weeks.
Recognising that I would need administrative support and more organisational clout to make an application, I approached Hillcrest School & Community College in Dudley - a teaching schools with which I was already working as a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) for Music. The Assistant Head in charge of the teaching school activities, Sarah Lawson, was really enthusiastic about becoming involved and so the partnership, CPD Centre West Midlands, was born. Under this partnership, we successfully applied for validation to run the CME in early 2014, and pipped one other organisation to the post to become the first validated centre, number 0000001. I would like to be chill and say that this number didn't matter to me, but it totally did!
We started out with the intent to run a local, face-to-face centre; however, there was so much interest in the qualification that, as soon as we launched, we were inundated with applications from all over the country. In consultation with Trinity, we pivoted to offer a distance learning version of the programme alongside our face-to-face programme and, within two years, we dropped the face-to-face option altogether as demand for the distance learning version grew. Sadly, when Hillcrest School joined a MAT a few years later, there was no mechanism for us to continue in partnership so CPD Centre West Midlands was dissolved and Music Education Solutions® continued on alone as the sole partner in our centre. Whilst I really missed working with Sarah Lawson and her team, by this stage, MES was a much bigger organisation and I knew that we were equipped to go it alone.
Over the last decade, we have supported over 100 learners from a variety of different backgrounds and contexts. Some have had no other qualifications, some are already highly qualified; some are school or hub-based with a network of colleagues to lean on, some are community musicians or private teachers working alone. Since CME centres were able to offer their programmes globally in 2019, we also have a growing number of international learners, working across five continents, with a myriad of different working practices and contexts. What all these learners have in common is the desire to develop their skills and knowledge in order to improve outcomes for children and young people in their care. Knowing that we are having an impact, not only on the learners themselves but also, by association, all the thousands of children they will collectively teach, is incredibly rewarding. I feel proud to lead our Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators centre and am looking forward to another decade of supporting learners to fulfil their potential.
(Oh, by the way, our centre number is 0000001 - did I mention that?!)
Would you like to learn more about becoming a validated Trinity CME course provider? You can find a wealth of information on our website, including the CME Specification and Validation Requirements, read our blog post, watch back our webinar, or contact us at email@example.com.
Photo by RDNE Stock project on Pexels
Comments & Replies
BY: Natalie Christopher
BY: Natalie Christopher
BY: Natalie Christopher