Welcome to Musical Progressions!

We are working on an all-singing, all-dancing website. In the meanwhile, here is some summary information about the Musical Progressions Roundtable...
What is the Musical Progressions Roundtable?

The Musical Progressions Roundtable (MPR) is a network of organisations and individuals involved in music education from across the UK, with over 200 participants to date. We are looking at how, together, we can most effectively support all children and young people’s musical progression, enabling them to fulfill their potential, whatever kind of music they make and whatever background they’re from. The MPR is an open forum for generating ideas and exploring complex issues. However it’s ultimately focused on action: creating practical outputs (including influencing strategy, producing online tools and developing training models) that will create genuine change for all young people’s music making.

The MPR was initiated in 2009 by Awards for Young Musicians, the Musicians Benevolent Fund and Youth Music. Since 2012 it has been hosted by Awards for Young Musicians and Ben Sandbrook, with funding from Youth Music.

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What has the MPR found?

We have been taking a hard look at progression (principally in music but also across all the arts and more broadly) – asking what progression is, asking about progression towards what, and taking apart some of the ways in which education and learning happen – some of the ‘how’s of supporting progression. These are some of the key messages that keep emerging:

• Very few people can be the best; everybody can be exceptional. (Exceptional is not second to best; it's just individual, where best is, necessarily, exclusive.)
• Learners are at the centre of their own learning - it is always they and only they that do the learning - but they are not always at the centre of their own education
• Individual progression journeys need to be the primary and guiding focus, rather than the systems and organisations that might support some of those journeys
• The whole environment, through which those journeys take place, needs to be considered holistically, rather than focussing on particular well-trodden progression routes through that environment.
• There are many ingredients in an environment for progression, and they are often complex. These ingredients can only be provided in full by many different stakeholders (including schools, music organisations, music leaders, parents and young people individually and collectively) and therefore informed collaboration is essential.
• Musical adults take many different forms (e.g. listeners are still musical adults), so we should consider excellences not excellence, and progressions not progression
• We don’t know what will be considered excellent in the future, nor in which fields it will be considered, so today’s excellence(s) should be used to inspire and enrich today’s journeys, but personal or even collective opinions on what excellence is should not overly determine the destinations of those journeys: ‘whose excellence is it anyway?’


Find out more: links and materials

Online tools for supporting musical progression
Write-up of the Musical Progression Panorama: Ideas, Questions and Answers
Joined-up strategies for musical progression: what do they look like in practice?
2014: a year of change for musical progression?
Filmed presentation about 'Creating tomorrows musical adults'
Poster showing a skeleton strategy for making progression environments
Document describing this strategy in depth
Poster showing the ingredients in an environment for progression
Information on the Musical Progressions Roundtable
Poster on understanding achievement in musical progression - how do you measure musical progress?
Poster on common barriers for musical progression journeys, with solutions