Colwell Arts Centre is now open on a strict appointment-only basis. To collect, return or exchange an instrument, please contact us at glosmusic@gloucestershire.gov.uk to make an appointment.


If you are a self employed teacher or school looking for support with regards to planning for the forthcoming academic year then please click here.

Do you work with young people in music?

Do you sometimes come across young people who aren’t engaged in learning or aren’t able to participate? 


This could be due to emotional or behavioural difficulties, special educational needs, physical difficulties, or other challenging circumstances?

We’ve created this resource to help you to support these learners: to save you hours of research and to help you feel more confident.

In some cases, all it takes is a bit of research to learn how you can adapt your teaching. In others, you may
want or need to extend your learning into webinars and live training.

We hope you’ll refer to this resource for help with specific students, and perhaps also more generally. Find
out more in Youth Music’s publication: What makes for quality in a music education for all young people?

This resource also supports the live CPD/training that we’re arranging (starting with our Inclusion
Conference), and that others provide across the county and the UK.

We know that music is a powerful contributor to young people’s wellbeing (see latest research, The
Sound of the Next Generation). And for young people facing challenging circumstances* it can be transformative. This is just the start of Gloucestershire becoming a truly inclusive place for young people to learn and benefit from music. Please let us know if there’s anything that’s missing, or any suggestions you have.


* A note about definitions and language

We define challenging circumstances as:

  • Economic difficulties (these often result in other challenging circumstances)
  • Life conditions (permanent condition e.g. liability, impairment, condition)
  • Life circumstances (being bullied, in care, refugees)
  • Behavioural issues (BESD, who become excluded from mainstream school)

Challenging circumstances often cause young people to have special educational needs. Around 14.6% of young people in the UK have special educational needs and the number is increasing. The term ‘Special Educational Needs and Disability’ (SEN/D)’ is a legal definition that government, schools and other agencies use to identify needs and the resources needed to support children, young people and vulnerable adults.

All children exist on a continuum of needs from mild to severe, and far more than we might expect will have SEN/D – or additional needs, as some people prefer. That’s why we use the terms ‘inclusion’, and ‘challenging circumstances’ to acknowledge the large number of young people who face barriers to learning and making music.  

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