We are using cookies to give a better service experience. By using our services you agree to use cookies. Read more


Musical Futures

How can a real-world approach capture the cognitive benefits of music education?

A non-profit organisation that seeks to transform young people's engagement in music through imitating the real-world practices of professional musicians.

HundrED 2018


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED 2018

Web presence






March 2017
We want to bridge a dynamic and relevant music education in and out of school.

About the innovation

What is Musical Futures?

Research has found that music facilitates learning in other subjects and enhances skills that children inevitably use in other areas. A music-rich education has displayed many benefitsincludinglanguage development, memorization, emotional development and creative thinking, not to mention the general benefits of music for music's sake.As one child expressed: "I don't know anyone who doesn't love music. You can't not like it."

Based on Professor Lucy Green’s extensive research intohow popular musicians learn, Musical Futures believes music learning works best when young people are making music, and when their existing passion for musicis reflected and built uponin the classroom. Originally designed to address the gap between student engagement with music in school and that outside of school, Musical Futures is a tried-and-tested innovative approach to music learning with the aim of bringing relevant and engaging music lessons to as many young people as possible.Bringing non-formal teachingand informal learninginto the more formal music classroom, Musical Futures hashelpedmany music educators across the world reshape their approach to music teaching, increasing their skills and confidence and enabling them to deliver high-quality music education.

Student choice is integral to the pedagogy, which means that rock and pop genres are often a starting point. However, as Musical Futures is an approach to teaching music, it can be applied to any content, not just to rock and pop! This means that it is sustainable and transferable to a range of learning contexts, both within the UK and overseas.

Musical Futures focuses on providing training, support and resources for teachers and practitioners to help them transform the teaching of music with students of all ages in school and in other contexts outside school. Teachers and practitioners can download a Teacher Resource Pack or via the Musical Futures App to support them in their work. The majority of resources available on the Musical Futures website are open source and include guides such asGetting started with Classroom Workshopping, Getting Started with Informal Learningand Getting Started with Find Your Voice. Musical Futures offers a range of training specifically designed for international teachers and practitioners in the UK, Australia and internationally.

A case study by UCL showed that by taking part in Musical Futures students believed that musical talent could be developed rather than being an innate talent they are born with.

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability


Musical Futures is a grassroots organisation driven by teachers. They make use of social media, website training and face-to-face professional development opportunities to share innovative teaching material and practices, always with a focus on improving learners' experiences.


A quantitative survey by the UCL Institute of Education found that Musical Futures impacted young people in a variety of ways. There were significant increases in motivation and improved positive attitudes towards music, while pupils’ self-esteem and confidence increased dramatically.


Teachers and practitioners are currently using Musical Futures in 72 countries. The pedagogy is transferable due to the practical nature of the Musical Futures approach, which means that language barriers are less of an issue.

Implementation steps

Download the resources
Musical Futures has a wide collection of resources that can be downloaded for free.

Get started by becoming a member for free and downloading the Teacher Resource pack for all the information needed on the Musical Futures approach, plus further hints and tips for implementing it.

Familiarise yourself
Take time to get to grips with how to start using the Musical Future approach.

Visit the Musical Futures website for information on Getting Started With Musical Futures.

Try it out!
Try out some of the Musical Futures approaches with young people using the suggested route according to the students' age or level of experience and the skills that will be focused on.

Below are just a few examples!


Designed for: building musical skills. Age range: 8-14 year olds. Recommended use: all teachers and practitioners – this approach to music teaching has been designedfor use by teacherswho don’t consider themselves to be music specialists as well as those who have specialist music skills. Skills to develop: instrumental skills, ensemble skills, learning to learn aurally, finding and maintaining a pulse, working together, understanding how music works, building confidence.


Designed for: modelling musical skills. Age range: 8-18 year olds. Recommended use: specialist music teachers and practitioners. Skills to Develop:whole class composing, whole class improvising, classroom workshopping,vocal work,instrumental ensemble work.


Designed for: developing independent musicians. Age range: 11-18 year olds. Recommended use: specialist music teachers and practitioners. Skills to develop:technology and production,band work,free composition,informal learning, modelling aural learning,songwriting.

Looking for support?
Not sure where to start or what some help?

Head over to Advice, Guidance and Support for Delivering Musical Futures!

Spread of the innovation

loading map...