Trinity's Awards & Certificates in Musical Development

Trinity's Awards & Certificates in Musical Development

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BY: Natalie Christopher
15 February 2023

You may have seen us talking online about Trinity's new, fully inclusive qualifications: Awards & Certificates in Musical Development. In case you've not had chance to read the information on our website or watch back our webinar, here are some of the key points you need to know:

What are the origins of the Awards & Certificates in Musical Development?

The Awards & Certificates in Musical Development have been developed in partnership with Sounds of Intent and is founded on their innovative framework for the assessment of musical learning. Having been embedded into music classes in a wide range of SEND settings over the last 20 years, the framework is designed to celebrate even the smallest steps in musical progression. The Awards & Certificates in Musical Development take this one step further, enabling those across the spectrum of abilities to have their musical achievements and progress formally recognised.

Who are the qualifications for?

Everyone! This is a suite of regulated qualifications designed to be available to anyone, from those with the most profound learning difficulties to those with advanced musicianship skills. There are no prerequisites or restrictions - no age, medical or baseline musical ability requirements; absolutely anyone can work towards an Awards & Certificates in Musical Development qualification.

The Sounds of Intent framework is already used in thousands of settings in over 20 countries. It is used by school teachers, SEND schools, instrumental music teachers, music therapists, Early Years practitioners, music leaders working in projects and many more. For anyone already using the Sounds of Intent framework or is interested in doing so, the Awards & Certificates are relevant for your learners.

What do the levels of the qualification look like?

Mapped against the Sounds of Intent framework, the Awards & Certificates in Musical Development are available at six levels, all of which are regulated against the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). The Awards start at Entry Level 1, which is the smallest qualification, and span right through to Level 3, which is equivalent to grades 6-8 and similarly carries UCAS points.

At each level, learners are required to demonstrate their abilities across three domains of music-making:

  • reactive
  • proactive, and
  • interactive

To give you an example, at Entry Level 1, the learning outcomes require evidence that a learner can purposefully respond to musical sound, intentionally make musical sound (of any type - formal instrument playing is not required) and interact with others via musical sound.

At the other end of the framework, at Level 3, the learning outcomes ask for evidence of sophisticated music-making abilities in terms of responding to and creating music, and interacting with others musically. Learners at this level are able to demonstrate their high level of musicianship and be formally recognised for it.

The key value of the Awards & Certificates is that learners can demonstrate their music-making through any type of learning context - solo, group or class; live or digital - via any type of music making - from vocalising to using simple percussion instruments; adaptive technologies to acoustic or electronic instruments - and in the security of the music learning context they are comfortable with.

More information on what is assessed at each level can be found in the Awards & Certificates in Musical Development Specifications.

Who can offer the Awards & Certificates in Musical Development?

These are Externally Quality Assured (EQA) qualifications meaning that organisations apply to become validated Awards & Certificates in Musical Development centres. Details on the validation requirements can be found here.

If you have learners that you would like to enter for Trinity's Awards & Certificates in Musical Development, but are not associated with one of our validated centres, the Sounds of Intent National Centre is the ideal option for you. Whether you are working with groups or supporting an individual to evidence their musical progression, you can enter learners through the National Centre, who will verify your assessment before liaising with Trinity about moderation and certification on your behalf.

How are the Awards & Certificates assessed?

Through continual assessments made in ongoing music-making sessions by the music leader. The EQA model means that assessments are made within your setting and the assessor gathers the supporting evidence in the context of the normal teaching session. Typically, the evidence will be short video clips showing the learner demonstrating their musical achievements.

How are learners certificated?

Once a validated centre has completed their assessments and gathered all of their supporting evidence, they should submit the learners' names to us. As the awarding body, it is our responsibility to ensure the ongoing validity of the qualification so, from time to time, centres will be required to be moderated. In this situation, the centre will be asked to provide access to a sample of the assessments and evidence so that it can be reviewed before certification.

Again, if you're not associated with a validated centre, learners can be entered via the Sounds of Intent National Centre who will verify your assessment and submit them for certification.

Is it a real certificate?

Yes - the certificate each learner will receive is a formal, Ofqual regulated certificate which shows the level and size of the qualification. It is regulated in the same way as any of our graded exams and can open doors to further or higher education. In addition, the regulated nature of the qualification can be an important tool to unlock further funding for young people with an education health and care plan (EHC) up to the age of 25.

For more information and to sign up for updates, please visit our website.


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