Innovation and Research

In our independent role we bring together some of the most innovative and creative minds around. Through pioneering programmes like the Musical Progressions Roundtable and our Talent to Talent mentoring programme we continue to seek new ways to make a difference to the musical futures of talented young people.

Innovation and reserach

In detail

We’re proud of the way we’ve used our independent role in music education to become a thought leader in talent development. Twelve years ago a strategic review of how AYM could develop its work led to us identifying four key obstacles to young people’s progression. We structured our new business plan around tackling these obstacles, which were specifically those where we could make a meaningful strategic difference. Our approach at all times was to work collaboratively and in a joined up way with our colleagues across the sector to help young people achieve their musical potential.

We began by co-commissioning research into the impact of whole class instrumental tuition and whether talented children’s needs were being addressed within this model. Alongside this we brought together key partners for new action research, which led to the establishment of our Identifying Talent programme. Convening and leading the Musical Progressions Roundtables came next. Its findings had a transformative effect on our Furthering Talent programme, leading to both Practical Progression and Talent to Talent. As we move beyond our 20th year we continue to develop new ways to enhance our support for the young people we’re here to help.

Evaluation of whole class tuition

We worked with the Department for Education and Music Mark to co-commission a report evaluating the impact of whole class instrumental tuition.

Read the 2009 report

Musical Progressions Roundtable (MRP)

More recently we hosted the influential Musical Progressions Roundtable (MPR). This involved colleagues from across the sector and many young people too and led to a major shift in how progression is viewed across the sector. The MPR’s findings in particular informed the development of both Furthering Talent and our Talent to Talent young musician-led mentoring programme supported by Arts Council England.

More information

Talent to Talent

Talent to Talent is AYM’s music-based mentoring programme which combines peer mentoring opportunities with creative music making. Funded by a project grant from Arts Council England, this latest programme builds on the learning from AYM’s 2016 pilot phase of Talent to Talent, which aimed to enable young musicians to take a lead and discover more about their musical selves through sharing ideas and experiences with a mentor or mentee at a different stage in their musical development.

Click for videos and further reading

Practical Progression

We are currently piloting this peer-led training programme. Delivered by musical leaders, for music leaders, the training aims to build on music leaders’ existing tool kit, whatever setting they are working in. The training will look at different ways to support young people to overcome obstacles to their music making.  An accompanying film series, also called Practical Progression is already available. Keep a look out for more information to come.

Watch the film series

We’ll always continue to explore new ways to improve the way talented young people from low income families can be supported. The young people we help are constantly striving to be excellent musicians, and we continually strive to be better enablers. We support each of their musical journeys, refining, developing and evaluating the way that we work, to research new approaches that can help make a difference in the lives of talented young people.

Updates and resources

Spotting facets of musical potential

This resource was developed in partnership with Youth Music. The full resource can also be found on the Youth Music…

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Working with Youth Music to develop ‘Identifying Talent’

In 2008, with support from Youth Music we initiated an action research programme looking at how you could spot musical…

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Common barriers for musical progression journeys poster

This poster was developed in partnership with Ben Sandbrook of World Pencil as part of the Musical Progression Roundtable, funded…

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Musical Progressions Roundtable

2009 – 2014 Advocating for the musical needs of young people across the sector has always been a priority for…

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Other programmes

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