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AYM continues to support BHMA students and their teachers

Furthering Talent new pilot programme to run in Brighton and Hove between September 2017 and December 2018.

Furthering Talent has been in development since 2009 when Awards for Young Musicians (AYM) worked with the Department for Education and Music Mark to look into the relationship between talent loss and the affordability of training and discovered that many children with emerging talent were missing out on opportunities to enjoy a musical life.

Having received a further significant grant from Youth Music, AYM has been able to extend and expand the Furthering Talent programme to work with 5 Music Education Hubs until December 2018, and continue its aim to make musical progression available to students from lower income families. It provides personalised support for young people and their teachers on top of their normal instrumental lessons and gives them access to a wide range of musical opportunities.

Furthering Talent has been praised for its achievements with external evaluators describing it as “overwhelming successful” and “a triumph” and Youth Music have invited AYM to become a strategic partner for this next phase of the project.

Students involved in the programme demonstrate considerable improvement in their instrumental proficiency and musical development, giving them the chance of a musical life (or even a musical career) and resulting in a major boost to their confidence, both within and beyond school.

Teachers involved in the programme also benefit from training in how to spot and support children with musical potential in whole class settings,

Families gain knowledge of how to support their child’s musical development and enjoy being part of a network of other parents/carers of young participants.

The story so far in Brighton and Hove

Brighton and Hove Music and Arts has been a partner on the Furthering Talent programme since (September 2013). Over (100) students from the area have benefited from the progamme since it began with the majority of them having been nominated by a teacher as a result of whole class musical tuition in their schools.

The photo above was taken at a termly Get Together for the current Furthering Talent cohort of students where they took part in a looping workshop with Cate Ferris. These Get Togethers encourage parents/guardians and siblings to get involved, helping to develop a strong musical community. Students have also received individual instrumental tuition, an individual learning plan and other support with their musical progression goals.

The majority of students on the current programme are due to graduate from the programme over the next two terms, having had at least 2 years of support.

New pilot project in Brighton and Hove

From September 2017 Brighton and Hove Music and Arts is piloting a new approach to working with children, selecting two schools to benefit from the programme. These schools have been chosen as they have a high percentage of pupils currently receiving subsidies for their instrumental lessons.

Students at the selected schools will received extra individualised support from their instrumental teachers and the Furthering Talent Local Co-coordinator to further their musical progression. Support will be given for them to pursue their individual interests in music as well as to participate in a range of musical experiences.

Selected schools

After considerable discussion between staff at Brighton and Hove Music and Arts, the schools selected for the programme were decided on and will be Carlton Hill Primary School and West Blatchington Primary School.

Eligible students in these schools be young people who are currently learning an instrument through Brighton and Hove Music and Arts or who start lessons between September 2017 and January 2018.

What the pilot will test

This pilot will look at how the key principles of Furthering Talent affect the retention rate of students learning instruments and how the promotion of a whole school musical culture will affect the progression of students with emerging talent.

The pilot will also feed into the Our Future City Be Well research project.

Practical Progression

Practical Progression is a peer-led professional development programme that aims to support other providers to take on some of the principles of Furthering Talent in their own work.

Three Teacher Facilitators have been recruited in Brighton and Hove (Jo Eagle, Conrad Hewitt and Natasha Gawlinski) to work on the programme, along with 13 other Teacher Facilitators from across the four other partners hubs. They will together develop a training course and 5 film resources.

The focus of the film to be created in Brighton and Hove is musical journeys and progression routes, highlighting the possible jobs, roles and lifestyles of individuals within the music world and the stories of how they got there. The emphasis will be on the various routes into and through music, with no one route being more valid than others. The film will aim to demonstrate that these journeys are ongoing and that no genuinely creative musician or other artist ever ‘arrives’ at some imagined peak of success. It will also aim to challenge the traditional assumption of instrumental learning being a pyramid of progression i.e. that teaching needs to concentrate on preparing pupils to be professional performers.

If you have anything relevant to contribute to this film, please get in contact as we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Further information

For furthering information about Furthering Talent and Practical Progression in Brighton and Hove please contact Natasha Gawlinski, Local Coordinator, on

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