Funded by Youth Music, MusicLeader is a unique national network and programme which supports the development of the music leading workforce, equipping it with the knowledge and skills required by employers.
During 2009, the hub worked with MusicLeader to: review the programme against its national objectives; evaluate its impact to date on individual music leaders and the wider music leading workforce, and develop an up-to-date profile of this work force. Our findings and subsequent recommendations around the programme’s strategic development have since been used by MusicLeader to develop a new strategy, designed to maximise its reach and impact as the network expands to provide a national programme.
The starting point for our research was to consult MusicLeader’s 11 000 members, and in January 2009 we launched a national consultation using an online survey. Amongst music leaders, the response rate was around 14%, while for those working in so-called ‘employer organisations’ it was approximately 17%. Survey data enabled us to: provide a demographic profile of respondents, as well as identify levels of earning and days worked by them; identify respondents needs and ambitions for the future, and – crucially – interrogate their use of MusicLeader’s various services, uncover what they found most valuable about them, and seek their views on how MusicLeader could improve its offer to the music leading workforce. Follow up focus groups enabled us to deepen our understanding, and begin to shape our response to the findings.
Using our own considerable music education network alongside MusicLeader’s extensive contacts, we carried out a range of one-to-one interviews with key figures from across the music education sector, to test our initial recommendations and ensure that they would result in MusicLeader complementing rather than duplicating existing provision.
Our final recommendations were made in a final report submitted in August 2009. Since then, MusicLeader has acted on our recommendations, developing a new strategy and strap line ‘raising the quality, value and impact of music leadership in the UK’.