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About UpRising

UpRising seeks to improve the quality and consistency of inclusive music-making the East Midlands and beyond

UpRising provides an ever more equitable offer for pupils with additional needs in mainstream schools, special education settings and alternative provision. The project is funded by Youth Music and the Music Hubs of MEHEM.

What does UpRising do?

Uprising began as a three-year, Youth Music funded project in September 2020. Since that time we have been working to achieve the following:

Support instrumental tutors to develop their inclusive practice.

We want instrumental tutors to feel able to include all pupils in their lessons. We believe that this begins with a grounding in the Social Model of Disability and its application in the classroom.

We offer regular training sessions, emphasising the voices of those with lived experience of disability, and host termly online Hivemind sessions that allow tutors to discuss real life classroom challenges and receive the support of peers to overcome them.

Support generalist teachers in specialist settings to deliver high-quality music lessons

Fewer than half of all special education schools in England employ a music specialist to deliver curriculum music.

We provide a rolling programme of training to non-specialist teachers, including our flagship Musicking for the Terrified training, specialist PMLD and Alternative Provision training, and termly network meetings for school music coordinators.

We also provide train the trainer support for hub-based music specialists to deliver twilight CPD in schools in their area.

Support Music Hubs to enhance their inclusive offer

This includes developing hub inclusive ensembles that sit alongside current hub ensemble provision, responding to the National Plan for Music Education to ensure pupils in special education settings have access to instrumental tuition, and developing the role of Inclusion Lead in each hub. We are also developing a team of specialist practitioners within each hub to support colleagues through observations and bespoke training sessions.

Pioneer new thinking around inclusive music education

With our broad remit, and drawing on the significant expertise in the region, we are able to respond to the changing music education landscape. We are developing best practice around Music Development Plans and curriculum design in special education settings.

We are setting up a lived experience working group to allow the music education workforce to lead discussions around inclusion within the structures of hubs. We are working with academic institutions to discuss the pedagogy of PMLD music. We have presented at several national conferences and provide advice and support to other hubs in England.

Develop collaborative projects across hubs

Our current projects include:

  • MEHEM-wide Inclusive Choir in partnership with Soundabout
  • Uprising On Tour performance/workshop hybrid project that seeks to identify talented pupils in special education settings to join hub ensembles
  • The Great Big Orchestra Experiment that involves a joint orchestra made up of NMPAT and Nottingham hub senior orchestras performing in special education schools
  • An instrumental tuition project in a pupil referral unit with Sinfonia Viva.

Who is involved?

The project is led by inclusion specialist Ben Sellers. He works with a core team of twelve representative drawn from the music hubs of MEHEM as well as a team of school, hub and independent specialists including Sarah Share, Vicki Brown, Sue Nicholls, Nicola Burke, Claire Cheetham and Dr Ally Daubney.

The first three years of the project are being evaluated by a team at Birmingham City University led by Dr Victoria Kinsella and Dr Anthony Anderson. We also work with multiple partners who provide specialist knowledge and reach, and are grateful for their continued engagement.

Alongside the music hubs of MEHEM, our core partners are Sinfonia Viva, Soundlincs and the ABLE Orchestra. We also work closely with Soundabout, Open Up Music, OHMI, Music Mark and Made with Music.

UpRising Research Report 2023

Through a robust methodology and insightful dialogues with project participants, the research report sheds light on the intersections between professional development, the enriched contributions of Music Hubs to schools, and the broader influence on teaching, learning, and professional growth withinand beyond the MEHEM consortium.

Youth Music and the Music Hubs of MEHEM

The UpRising project is supported by Youth Music with funding from National Lottery via Arts Council England and the Music Hubs of MEHEM.

Youth Music