Awards for Young Musicians

Giving talent a chance

Identifying Talent

Identifying Talent addresses a key barrier to talented young people’s musical progress: some teachers’ limited experience of how to identify their musical potential.

Limited confidence can be a stumbling block as many class teachers have very little musical training, inevitably affecting their ability to in identify young people’s musical potential in their classes. So AYM  brought together a number of partners to help tackle this and develop a training programme.

Musical opportunities in many schools can be limited, even at the earliest stage of involvement in music making, which is why we not only train teachers to spot musical potential – we also explore with them how to nurture and support it once they’ve done so.

Identifying Talent has two strands: face-to-face training and a series of online film resources. These films highlight key facets of musical potential, using creative musical activities to help teachers identify potential in young people in a wide range of formal and informal educational contexts.

We’re also working with Youth Music to create a Train the Trainers strand, working with a larger group of teachers to deliver this programme. This will increase our capacity and help to expand the programme’s reach. We’re also sharing the programme’s key principles via our Practical Progression films and training.

The programme has now been externally evaluated twice; this has enabled us to continue to develop its content and impact. Here is some recent feedback from a training participant:

“When the AYM team visited Stafford to run the Identifying Talent training I wasn’t sure what to expect. In general I think most good music teachers are, by definition, good at spotting musical talent, but there isn’t a great deal of specific support in this area. Taking part in the training was a unique opportunity for me. It was great to be with a group of peers and to share experiences. I found the training inspiring and motivational. Identifying musical talent and potential was not simply discussed, it was demonstrated, and the training provided me with some great new practical ideas and resources for my own teaching. It has led me to become more adventurous in my teaching. I’ve been exploring more improvisation and memory-based techniques than I previously did.”  Charlotte, Music Teacher, Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Music Education Hub

AYM is able to deliver this training across the UK; so if you’d like to find out more, please get in touch with Hester Cockcroft, AYM Director.