The National Music Services Working Group on Inclusion

What is the National Music Services Working Group on Inclusion (NWG) for and who's involved?

Heads of Music Services, and Inclusion project managers, up to a maximum of 2 staff from each service. Anyone who is taking inclusion forward in their organisation. Many members have either carried out action research around inclusion supported by Changing Tracks or have attended our peer groups and training.

From Sept 2021 we extended the group on now have representation from 45 music services.

When, where and how does the NWG meet

Four times a year, usually for a two-hour online workshop, with an annual ‘live’ meeting often at the Music Mark conference.

What is the purpose of the NWG?

1)     Acting as a steering group for the Changing Tracks programme: to provide expert advice and real-life experience on the challenges, enablers and benefits of music services embedding inclusion within music services’ plans.

2) To be a peer learning group: developing and sharing learning about the drivers and challenges for music services in embedding inclusion in organisational development: policies, processes and strategy, and workforce development, from recruitment to quality management to capturing and advocating for the full value of music.

3) To directly influence the events and resources produced by Changing Tracks. For example, Task & Finish groups will be formed as a result of, and report to, the NWG

4) Specifically, to share learning on how and why music services and Hubs might build their value to local authorities, developing stronger relationships and embedding music in local strategies and action plans

To receive the learning from Changing Tracks Action research projects.

Changing Tracks publishes learning emerging from the group in an annual review.

What will I and others get out of it?

  • A chance to influence change in diversifying music services - and as a result, in Hubs - nationally
  • Grow your understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion in music services
  • Support to develop an E, D and I action plan to embed within your service plan.
  • Get tips and advice from your music service peers on how to address inclusion practically in your organisation - for example, how to diversify recruitment practice.
  • An opportunity to work with peers to steer the content of practical resources and events for music services around inclusion

Who runs the NWG?

The Changing Tracks team (representatives from Hertfordshire Music Service), in partnership with Music Mark, the UK association for music education and funded by Youth Music, the national charity investing in young people’s music.

We also present insights and share learning through:

  • events - peer learning groups, training and task and finish groups

  • practical resources, blogs and videos

  • an annual review and learning report

  • conference presentations, meetings and networking

  • our website and social media channels

  • Music Mark the UK association for music education website, enews, social media and events

  • Youth Music Network website, enews, social media and events

Music Services Partners - inclusion action research

Each year since 2018, we have been providing a fund for music services to deliver action research on the enablers and barriers of inclusion. New services join us each year. 

In 2021/22 we've provided funding for 17 music services to pilot music nurture groups for vulnerable young people.

The services then share their emerging findings as part of a National Music Services Working Group for Inclusion (see above).

Find out more about our work with music services, and who we are.