The partnership has different levels of experience of the work that can be described as that of a Community Musician, and we were keen that we started the developing a Quality Framework on an equal footing, so that no one organisation was set up as the experts, although some had more experience than others.
There are examples of Quality Frameworks to be found on the web, and you can find links to them below. It was not our aim to replace these, but rather to prioritise elements from within them for musicians embarking on a career as a Community Musician.
It is possible to create on overall Quality Framework as an organisation that can be applied to
- The Organisation
- The Project
- The Session
- The Community Musician (in this section we’ll call the Music Leader)
Our main focus is the effectiveness of the Community Musician within the Session, elsewhere on this site you can find how to plan and evaluate projects and programmes of work.
We made some quality checklists regarding the different Sample Projects and we applied some simple peer review and reflective practice questions gleaned from existing Quality Frameworks and a dedicated session at the final training event.
We have prepared this list of the things we have thought were important, but underlying all this is that although we can achieve social, health and wellbeing and education al outcomes through Community Music, we must not forget that it should be FUN!
Make a Session Plan including a Risk Assessment.
Make sure you have contracted with someone (the contractor) so you know where, when, how long the session will be, and what you will be paid and how to claim
Have the music skills appropriate for the work you will be delivering
- Be inspirational for aspiring participants
- Recognise where participants are going wrong and fix it
- Arrange the musical items so all abilities can join in
Understand the context of the Session
- Is it part of a larger project? Know about the anticipated outcomes of the project
- Understand if the session is a ‘one-off’ event, or is it part of a progression programme
- Understand about the social context of the setting: what are the ages and abilities of the group? Who else will be working with the group? What does the group usually do?
- Have enough of the right musical resources for the session, or be prepared to improvise
- Make sure the room is set out in the most accessible way: can everyone see and hear you and each other?
- If there are other people working with you plan a briefing for them
- Have a contract for the work
- Have the necessary Insurances and Safeguarding documentation
- Know your session plan and relate it to any project outcomes
- Listen to the participants and allow them to contribute ideas to the session
- Support performances so participants ‘shine’, don’t make yourself the ‘star’
- Make sure everyone knows when the session has started and when it has finished
- Gather feedback from participants/the setting staff
- Make the session enjoyable!
After the session:
- Do a Reflective Practice on the session
- Share the feedback from the participants/staff with the contractor if appropriate
Invest in your own Continuing Professional Development
- Take up offers of training: linked to your own musical development or understanding about people with additional needs
- Link with organisations who may be able to give you work opportunities
- If your session is part of a project try to meet with other music or arts leaders
For the Music Leader:
For the Organisation and Project: