Research entitled “Does the introduction of the ‘Charanga’ scheme of work increase teacher knowledge and confidence of teaching music within the primary school classroom?” has been recently carried out by Rachel Binder for her recent Master’s dissertation at Edge Hill University.

The research itself was carried out at a Primary School in Bolton, and measured the confidence and musical knowledge of 16 class teachers before and after the introduction of the Musical School Scheme over a two term period.

Rachel concludes “The findings show that having support, in the form of Charanga, increased teachers’ knowledge and confidence by providing them with the resources, information and guidance needed to deliver an effective music lesson“.

It is the sheer scale of these improvements which make it worthwhile looking at the detail.

Marked Improvements in Teacher Confidence

The findings show marked improvement both in teacher confidence and musical knowledge which in turn had significant effects on teacher’s enjoyment of the subject, the frequency of teaching music lessons and ultimately the engagement of pupils themselves:

  • On average teacher confidence rose by a 196% but more specifically in the following areas:
    • confidence in singingup by 159% 
    • confidence in composing – rose by 250%
    • confidence in music history – rose by 200%
    • confidence in playing untuned instruments – up by 95%
    • confidence in playing tuned instruments – up by 200%
    • confidence in music technology – rose by 280%
    • confidence in evaluating music – rose by 208%
    • confidence in notation – rose by 171%
  • On average, teacher knowledge, specifically their ability to define six inter-related dimensions of music (pitch, duration, dynamics,timbre and texture) rose by 64%
    • Before the Musical School Scheme was introduced, of those of the teachers that already knew the terms “only one teacher could give an example of an activity they would do with the children to teach pitch
    • Following the introduction of Musical School Scheme, “all teachers could give an example of how to teach at least one of the inter-related dimensions and stated that Charanga had helped them to understand more about the terms, how they relate to a piece of music and how they all fit together.”
  • Numbers of teachers enjoying teaching music increased by 150% – only 5 enjoyed teaching music before the introduction of the Musical School scheme whereas 15 out of 16 did following its introduction.
  • Frequency of teaching music also improved significantly – numbers of teachers teaching music regularly(weekly) increased by 200%
  • Charanga provided all the resources, and could be picked up and taught within a short time-frame
  • the children enjoyed it and wanted to do it each week

Backing up what schools are telling us

Paul Fletcher, Managing Director of Charanga commented, “Overall the results for this school have been highly significant and we would hope the music education research community can shed further quantitative light on what we here at Charanga and thousands of teachers and pupils in primary schools already know – that Musical School is having a major impact on music education in the UK because it empowers class teachers, supports music specialists/coordinators, inspires pupils and crucially is affordable!

It is worth taking a look at what other schools are saying about their experience with Musical School – click here.

Experience Musical School for Yourself

If you haven’t already tried out Musical School for yourself – click here to get a no-obligation, 30-day free trial for your school. Subsidies are available for some schools in England depending on your local music hub – some hubs even give full subsidies but the RRP, the maximum you will pay, is £195.