Building Musical Confidence: A Research Project

Help us to help teachers! 

Here at Drums for Schools we are passionate about the power of music to unlock potential in both students and teachers. We know that non-specialist teachers often struggle with lack of confidence and feelings of inadequacy when it comes to teaching music. This may be due to lack of a musical background or they may just feel that they are ‘unmusical’, but this lack of confidence can significantly reduce the effectiveness of their teaching. We’re on a mission to change this, and we need your help.

What we are looking for:

We are looking for a number of music hubs to take part in our research project during the Summer Term of 2024. These hubs will identify schools in their area where music is being taught by non-specialists to be involved in this research. While the majority of these are likely to be primary schools, we would be particularly interested in involving secondary schools where music is being taught partially or fully by non-specialists at KS3 as well. 

What will be required?

Schools will be required to use the Drums for Schools instruments and teaching resources regularly over the course of the term, either as part of their curriculum work, or as an extra-curricular activity. The teachers involved will complete a short survey at the start of the project, and keep reflective notes during it to assist them in completing another survey at the end of the project. They will also be asked to collect a small amount of (anonymised) pupil feedback.

How will it benefit your hub?

Participating in this project will allow you to reinforce existing partnerships with schools, and perhaps reach schools who are yet to engage with you due to budgetary constraints or music being a non-priority subject. It can also contribute towards your inclusion strategy, both in terms of adding cultural diversity to your offer, and in supporting all children (and teachers!) to make progress with music. Due to the nature of the project, which includes training materials and opportunities for self-reflection, hubs can also count their involvement as an innovative approach to the provision of teacher CPD. The teaching materials are mapped against the National Curriculum and Model Music Curriculum, so participation in the project can be counted towards engagement numbers for the Model Music Curriculum. The project also represents an opportunity to get feedback from schools on the instruments provided in order to compile evidence of need, quality, and value for money ahead of any purchasing decisions for the capital grant funding. 

What will be provided:

We will loan each school free of charge a class set of one of the following:

  • West African Djembe Drums
  • Indonesian Gamelan
  • Caribbean Steel Pans 
  • Brazilian Samba 

Each class set will come with all the teaching resources required, including audio and video support resources, teacher books, and lesson plans. There will also be a dedicated contact person available from Drums for Schools who can provide advice and support where necessary via email, telephone or Zoom. 

Schools and the hub will have the option to purchase the instruments at the end of the project at a discounted price, should they wish to continue using them long term. 

What we hope to find out:

We hope that this research project will help us show that taking an immersive approach to the musical traditions outlined above improves teacher and pupil confidence and skill in making music, and helps them identify as ‘more musical.’ We also want to find out if there are additional materials, resources, and support approaches that teachers would find useful to make the teaching of these musical styles even easier and more enjoyable. 

How the findings will be used:

The findings from this research project will be collated into a report, shared with all participants and published on our website and through relevant music education publications. They will also be used to further develop our resources and support offer where relevant. 

Who is carrying out this research?

Drums for Schools have commissioned Music Education Solutions® as their independent researchers for this project. You can find out more about their research work here:

How can you get involved?

Please complete the form below. We will register your interest in participating in this research and will be in touch with further details. Or click here to download a copy of the Research Project flyer, containing all the information on this page and a QR code for returning to this page to sign up.