Faber Music Teachers’ Community

When I completed my PhD back in 2020, one of my recommendations was that those involved in the music industry, specifically those organisations related to music education, should:

‘consider developing opportunities which afford private teachers the opportunity to develop their wider educational knowledge and practice, in addition to instrument-specific skills.’

With this recommendation in mind, I’m pleased to introduce you to the Faber Music Teachers Community.

In 2023, Faber Music embarked on an important research project with Sound Connections. The purpose was to increase their understanding of the state of music education and the needs of instrumental music teachers and students in the UK. It took the form of an online questionnaire plus in-depth telephone interviews and focus groups. The survey reached the teachers of nearly 24,000 students from across the UK. Respondents included vocal and instrumental tutors, who were contacted via music industry and education associations and networks, Multiple Academy Trusts (MATs), Music Hubs and music conservatoires.

Some of their findings echoed some of the recommendations from my PhD too, such as:

‘In response to recent concerns, teachers should evaluate how inclusive and diverse their lessons are. They should consider how they can embrace students’ musical experiences and cultures which might currently be perceived to reside outside of the one-to-one lesson environment.’

The Faber Music-Sound Connections research project found that there is an appetite for modern approaches both in terms of repertoire and formats. This included an interest in and curiosity about contemporary music, digital scores, and apps. The research also revealed a need for more resources that draw from wider genres and traditions, including music from women and global majority composers. There is a demand for modern education resources, with a feeling that traditional offerings don’t excite students as they might.

There is a desire for greater equity and accessibility in terms of materials for students with specific needs. This includes specific training and professional development about how to teach more inclusively. Linked to this, tutors want to understand how to respond to the needs of their students better and have a genuine interest in the application of youth voice.

Similarly, one of my PhD recommendations was:

‘Those involved in both music education research and decision-making within the wider sphere of music education policy, should seek and include the views of private teachers as a distinct and valued part of the profession’

Also:

‘The input of private teachers should be actively sought, and researchers and policymakers should harness the power of the internet and social media to connect with them’

I was really pleased to see that Faber Music, along with Sound Connections, reported that throughout the consultative process, it was clear that vocal and instrumental tutors felt validated by being asked for their views. I should make it clear that Faber Music haven’t sought to respond to my PhD recommendations, but it’s nice to see organisations getting on board as we explore what it means to be a professional private music teacher in the 21st century.

Faber Music Teachers Community

Faber Music Teachers’ Community

As a result of their research, the Faber Music Teachers’ Community launches today, Thursday 23rd May, 2024. The community will be ensure music teachers have a voice: to continue the conversation and nurture it, to ask questions and engage more. It will also be a place where we can give something back, whether that be free downloads, CPD webinars, access to music education experts or an exclusive first-look at new publications. The Faber Music Teachers’ Community will be completely free and will initially focus on areas of Piano Pedagogy and Resources, Music Theory, and CPD.

You can read more about the research and Faber Music Teachers’ Community here.

I hope many of you will join, and I really look forward to seeing how we can move forward collaboratively, taking the best of the past, and the opportunities of the future.