Practical Progression: a teacher’s perspective

Practical Progression has been led by a group of AYM Teacher Facilitators, three from each of our five partner Music Education Hubs.  Together they formed a working group to devise, plan and produce the film series, drawing from their own experiences or working on our Furthering Talent programme.

We recently sat down with Rachel Thomas from Leicester, to have a chat about her experience of working on Practical Progression and producing the film Encouraging diverse musical experiences.

“I first became involved with AYM when I attended their Identifying Talent and Potential training in Leicester. I really enjoyed this and asked lots of annoying questions as I was keen to know more about AYM’s work. I later attended Arts Award training run by AYM and it was here that I was encouraged to apply for one of their Teacher Facilitator posts.

We first met as a group in June 2017 to start working on Practical Progression. It was interesting to talk about the idea of making a film series but nobody had any idea how we would actually go about it at that point. It’s been a learning experience!

I was involved in all stages of making the film in Leicester, from deciding on our theme, “Encouraging Diverse Musical Experiences” to coming up with a brief and recruiting our film maker, Orange Fox Studios. There were then many meetings/emails and phone calls to finalise the film shoots and of course the filming itself. I was in charge of the film shoot with a Taiko drumming group performing at De Montfort Hall.

Our theme is a huge topic and so one challenge was how to edit our film down to 5-8 minutes. Seeing all the disparate elements come together was very exciting, especially when the sound, music and lighting were added.  I certainly have new respect for film editors as a result.

Seeing others’ reactions to our film has been very rewarding. When you know the material so well, it’s hard to watch it objectively.  It’s been fantastic to receive so many positive comments and I really feel that the message we wanted to convey has been successful.

I hope Practical Progression will communicate the engagement and energy we saw in the young people involved and thus give a human face to the elements of the Furthering Talent progression model. In turn, this will hopefully inspire more teachers to get involved in spotting young people’s musical potential and providing increased support for them and their music-making.”

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