A qualification for all music educators
The Certificate for Music Educators, CME, has been developed by representatives across the music education sector in response to the publication of the National Plan for Music Education (2011) which recommended the introduction of a qualification for music teachers.
Trinity College has accredited several centres across the country and the first cohort of CME students has already completed the course successfully – they are now proud possessors of the qualification.
The CME qualification is realistically achievable by musicians working in many genres, communities and traditions and will go a long way to providing an initial benchmark qualification in the constantly changing and evolving world of music education
– Kenneth Bell, course leader for RAF Cadets
CME is for all musicians, from those new to the workforce to highly experienced practitioners, who are involved in musical learning activities for children and young people. It is designed to develop new skills and consolidate understanding of the purpose of music education as well as promoting best practice and contributing to an educators' knowledge and skills in their work. As Kenneth Bell, course leader for at RAF Cadets says, 'The CME qualification is realistically achievable by musicians working in many genres, communities and traditions, regardless of their academic history, and will go a long way to providing an initial benchmark qualification in the constantly changing and evolving world of music education'.
The Musicians' Union is actively supporting this new qualification for music teachers by publishing supporting materials for CME students. According to Diane Widdison, the MU's National Organiser for Education and Training:
'At least two thirds of the MU's 30,000 members work across the whole of the education sector. One of the most common queries we receive from members is 'what qualification can I take to teach'? There is no straightforward answer to this because of the myriad qualifications out there and at last it feels now that the sector has a qualification, at the right level, for its practitioners.'
The MU's specialist education team has looked in detail at CME and worked closely with some of the existing centres to develop materials suitable for use by students wanting to engage with the qualification.
The MU is grateful to Norfolk Music Service, Music Education Hubs East Midlands, RAF Air Cadets and other key consultants for their input. As Diane Widdison explains, 'We recognised immediately that cost and time could be a deterrent for busy self-employed teachers wishing to take the CME'. In response to this, the Musicians’ Union will shortly be releasing support material for three of the six modules for CME students and centres to use.
The MU has been testing the materials among some of the CME centres and the response from students has been positive. According to Kenneth Bell from RAF Air Cadets, 'The materials for Units 4, 5 & 6 are clearly and concisely worded and put the CME Specification criteria goals for those units into a context which relates directly to real working environments'.
If you’re interested to know more about CME and decide for yourself if this is for you, the MU will shortly be launching an introductory module. This takes about 30 minutes for you to get a taste of the types of activity and level of learning so you can see if this qualification is right for you.
If, on completion of this module, you wish to move forward and pursue the whole CME, you should approach one of the current CME course providers on the right of the page.
Joining the Musicians' Union
If you're not already a member of the Musicians' Union and are interested in joining 30,000 other musicians and teachers, please visit the MU website to find out more.
CME courses currently available, open to the public
- Community Learning MK Music Faculty – providing online modules written by Gary Spruce of the Open University and face-to-face training for school based curriculum staff, instrumental and vocal teachers, community musicians and workshop leaders working in and around the Milton Keynes area.
- CPE Centre West Midlands – providing face-to-face training, on-line learning and mentoring for music educators in the West Midlands region. This centre is open to school based curriculum staff, instrumental and vocal teachers, community musicians and workshop leaders.
- Enquiries should be made via the website
- Elgar School of Music, Worcester – providing training sessions and online learning options for all kinds of music educators in Worcestershire and those based elsewhere via its online learning platform.
- Norfolk Music Service – providing a structured course of face-to-face sessions, supported by mentoring workplace observations, suitable for all music educators in the Norfolk area.
- Enquiries should be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 01603 303345
- University of Northampton – providing face-to-face training days, flexible mentoring and workplace observations, with a focus on primary classroom practice.
- Enquiries should be directed to Sue Nicholls: email@example.com
Centres offering CME courses, not open to the public
- Music Education Hubs East Midlands – a consortium of seven Music Hubs in the East Midlands area working together to deliver a CME programme for teachers within the Hubs
- RAF Air Cadets – this centre seeks to provide training and accreditation for volunteer music leaders working with cadet musicians