Luciano Pavarotti, world renowned tenor, has been quoted as saying “if children are not introduced to music at an early age, I believe something fundamental is actually being taken from them”. In an effort to ensure that music education is accessible to every student, the Training and Development Agency for schools in the United States has produced a toolkit. This publication provides guidelines for teachers who want to include all students in music classes at the primary level. The toolkit covers topics such as inclusive music curriculum, planning music lessons, and accommodating the needs of all learners. It also offers suggestions for further reading and support.
According to the United Kingdom’s National Curriculum, “positive interaction with music can develop pupils’ competence as learners and increase their self-esteem,” benefits to which all students should have access. As some students may need encouragement to use their voices expressively, need help to manage the written aspects of music, or need access to adapted instruments, an inclusive approach to music education is necessary and can improve the musical experiences of everyone in the classroom.
As with other school curricula, music curricula can be modified so that all students can excel. Barriers need to be anticipated in the lesson planning process. The “self-audit” section of the toolkit provides convenient checklists that can help teachers examine how they are creating inclusive music learning programs and how they can do so better, such as through managing peer relationships, promoting motivation, and communicating effectively with students.
To read the full toolkit, click here.