Musical Futures is a non-profit organization that seeks to transform young people's engagement in music through imitating the real-world practices of professional musicians.
What is the need?
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 benefits including: language 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."
How does this innovation address it?
Through a fairly radical pedagogy Musical Futures is transforming music lessons: teachers let young people choose the music they are passionate about, play the instruments they choose to play (whether they've had any tuition or not) and form bands with their friends. In other words, the classes allow students to approach music like pop musicians do in real life.
Teachers can download an app and a teacher resource pack to support them in their work. All of the resources are open source and teachers around the world now freely share resources. These include guides such as: ‘Getting started with classroom workshopping’, ‘Getting started with informal learning’ and ‘Getting started with Find Your Voice.’
They also have a range of training events specifically designed for international teachers and practitioners in England, Australia and Malaysia.
Good to know:
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.
97% of schools who participated in Musical Futures felt that the programme had a positive impact on the whole school.