Certificate for Music Educators

What is a Certificate for Music Educators?

The Certificate for Music Educators (called the CME)  is a programme of professional development for anyone teaching music.

It is validated by Trinity College London, at the standard of Ofqual level 4.

Young Double Bass Player

How long is the Course?

There are two study options:

Option 1

The course studied over period of one calendar year (September 10th, 2021 – August, 2022)

Option 2 (fast track)

The course is studied over 6 months with a choice of two starting dates.

  • February 1st 2021
  • September 10th  2021

Who’s it for

The ESTA CME has been developed for anyone who works as an instrumental or vocal music teacher with children and young people, including instrumental and vocal teachers working with music services, hubs, schools or privately, and professional musicians who undertake education work.

ESTA CME entry requirements

To apply for the ESTA CME you should:

  • be working regularly as an instrumental or vocal teacher
  • have at least one year’s experience as a teacher
  • demonstrate a level of musical competence that is appropriate to the demands of your working environment
  • have musical, communication and interpersonal skills that enable yoo to inspire confidence in and elicit musical responses from children and young people;
  • have the ability to cope with the learning and assessment demands of the Trinity CME.

What does the course consist of ?

The course is made of four modules

  1. The Reflective Practitioner
  2. Music Education and Learner’s Musical Worlds
  3. Musical Learning: planning, leading, assessment and evaluation
  4. The Music Educator and their wider professional role

Each module has a set of learning outcomes that are assessed against specific criteria. The Certificate is awarded upon successfully collecting, collating and presenting evidence that meets the assessment criteria of each module. This is a pass/fail certificate. An important feature throughout the whole course is developing your understanding of and becoming a reflective practitioner.

Enrolment for 2020 is now open

Further details

What is the cost?

The full course fee is:

  • Option 1: (12 month online)  £500
  • Option 2: (fast track)  £750

A fully refundable deposit of £100 will be taken with your application. If you are accepted on the course the remaining fee must be paid before commencement of the course.

Discounts are offered to ESTA members and teachers who are members of ESTA Education approved teaching organisations.

Can I fit this in around my work schedule?

We have planned that almost all of the course is online learning through webinars and shared video resources.  For all these parts of the course you can learn in the comfort of your own home or from anywhere in the world where you can get on line.

All CME students are invited to attend a three-day Summer School (this is not compulsory) at Chichester University as part of the ESTA (UK) Summer School. Details of this are available upon successful application of the course.

What’s a webinar?

A webinar is a live meeting that takes place over the internet. It can be a presentation, a discussion, a demonstration or an instructional “how-to” session. Those who participate view a live video feed, an application or documents via computer. In a webinar, you are an audience and not just a reader or listener (as in the case of books or podcasts). You can expect to have your space and time to ask questions and sound off ideas to the presenter. You will be expected to participate and engage with the follow-up work which is designed to support your professional development and prepare your portfolios for assessment.

What’s Prior Learning?

In order to avoid learners having to repeat learning unnecessarily, evidence of prior learning and experience can be used to demonstrate that you meet some or all of the assessment criteria.

Prior learning may occur

  • In your workplace
  • Attendance at courses
  • In volunteer activity
  • Through a hobby or interest
  • Through independent study

At the start of the course you will be asked to make and upload a video of your teaching. You will work with your mentor to reflect and discuss the teaching you have recorded. This first session is important. It will enables us to both validate any prior learning experiences and for you to identify the areas that you really need to get going on; understand your personal strengths and areas for development in the course – and of course to get the most from it!

Who is my contact?

Everyone will be allocated a mentor who will work with you throughout the course. They will be your first and regular contact. They will observe and guide your developing portfolio and will be the first marker of your final submission. They will be guided by the Course Leader.

How is the course assessed?

Teaching Double bass

Your work is assessed as follows:

  • 3 observations of your teaching using videos you have submitted
  • A written assignment (1750 – 2500 words). The topic is mandatory and everyone is invited to respond to the title, “Children, Young people and their Musical Worlds’
  • A case study related to an aspect of your work as a teacher
  • A professional development log

Tell me more about a written assignment

One written assignment of between 1,750 and 2,500 words is to be completed. This written assignment provides mentors with evidence of how reading and research  have supported knowledge and understanding of how children and young people relate to music, including their instrumental and /or music lessons. It considers why music is important to children and young people, the ways in which we develop musically  and develop our musical preferences, through formal and informal music making, social media and networking. 

The written assignment will be recommended as a pass or fail.  Mentors will be looking for:

  • A grasp of subject matter with well-presented written discussion
  • An understanding of module assessment criteria
  • Use of relevant and appropriate material drawing on a range of resources
  • Personal experience providing an effective link between theory and practise
  • Awareness of teaching strategies and learning styles which goes well beyond a perfunctory understanding
  • Clear link between theory and effective teaching practice
  • Critical relevant awareness of teaching strategies and learning styles

What do you mean a case study?

This is a case study of one pupil or a group of pupils that you teach, demonstrating your development as a reflective practitioner. After an overview of the case context and pupil’s background, students complete detailed notes of their lesson plans, delivery and reflection, along with making a judgement about the pupil’s progress.

What do you expect of A Professional Development Plan?

You will need to plan, undertake and review a personal professional programme throughout the course. The programme will include the course sessions and its connected journey e.g. observing other teaching, attending conferences, reading and research etc. You decide your own format for your professional development plan in agreement with your mentor.

  • All applicants must hold a current DBS number and be up-to-date in your child protection training. All learners must read and familiarise themselves with the ESTA Child Protection policy
  • Video recordings of teaching

Everyone on the ESTA Education CME course is required to submit videos of yourself teaching. These videos will be used to assess your progress and are an essential part of the process.

Before attempting to make any recording of children or young people, you must first obtain permission from the learner or learners whose lesson it is, and in writing if the learner is over 18 years of age; also from the parents or carers of the learner or learners below 18 years of age, from any adults who may also be present in the room, and if the recording is made in a school or other institution, from the appropriate authority in the institution.

The submitted recordings will be viewed by your mentor, the course leader and members of the ESTA CME panel. They will be stored for the duration of the course and a period of up to 3 months following completion of the course.

Any reference made to any child in any video must be done so anonymously. No child is to be named in the process of writing about or referring to, in the portfolio or any written evidence.

ESTA does not provide video cameras or other equipment and you are expected to use either a smartphone, laptop computer, tablet or other device which they provide for the purpose.

Disabled Learners

ESTA (UK) strives to make all aspects of its practices and policies suitable for reasonable adjustments to include any disabled members, within the capability of our size and the resources we have available. We will regularly review

  • the physical features
  • our delivery and teaching practices

In order to ensure that a disabled learner is not at a substantial disadvantage compared with a person who is not disabled. If a substantial disadvantage does exist, we will make reasonable adjustments to remove the substantial disadvantage. This does not, however, mean asking intrusive questions or ones that violate someone’s dignity.

Who teaches the course?

Maureen Hanke

Maureen Hanke

Course Leader, CME

Maureen is a full time student at Guildhall School of Music & Drama researching into musician/teacher collaborations in education. She is a regional CPD and workshop leader for the on-line musical resource Charanga and Guildhall PGCert in Performance Teaching Course, and continues to lead workshops in the UK and abroad.

She was Head of the Norfolk Music Service and lead partner in the Norfolk Hub, prior to which she was head of Music Education and Director of CPD for Trinity College of Music.

Maureen sings in a community choir and with a church choir, she is a trustee of Music Mark, sits on the board of trustees of the Inclusive Schools Trust and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Course Structure and Timeline

Inside workings of a piano

We want the ESTA CME to be a flexible form of study that will meet your needs and aspirations for your professional development journey.  We offer two study options.

Option 1 (fast track)

The course is studied over 6 months with a choice of two starting dates.

February 1st 2021

September 10th 2021

This option is designed for teachers and teaching assistants who can demonstrate, through an interview that they have an informed awareness of two or more of the following areas

  • the core principles, concepts and practices that underpin contemporary music education, particularly those relating to diversity, equality and inclusion, and addressing barriers to musical learning
  • key debates and perspectives in contemporary music education and the implications of these for the setting(s) in which they work
  • children, young people’s and adults’ wider musical worlds and the role and purpose of music education within these worlds
  • the musical skills and pedagogical knowledge required to motivate and support musical learning and progression of all learners in the setting(s) within which they work
  • music education beyond their setting(s) and the implications of this for their own practice

Option 2

The course studied over period of one calendar year (September 10th, 2021 – August 2022)

  • 1st September 2021

    Closing date for applications 2021 - 2022

  • 10th September 2021

    Instructions about the course

    Webinar 1:
    Introductory conference welcome and check system

    Link to Course:

    • Preparation and clarification of course / paper work
    • Introduction to self-assessment and prior learning for mentor team to consider before first meeting.
    • Module one
  • 18th October 2021

    Final date to complete first video of teaching and notes with initial thoughts on strengths and specific areas for professional development

    Final date to complete first video of teaching and notes with initial thoughts on strengths and specific areas for professional development.

  • November 2021

    Webinar 2. Small group webinars, each with 3 students and a mentor.

    Addressing barriers to learning. Discussion following distributed reading and recommended viewing.

    Link to Course:
    Module one

  • December 2021

    Final date for second submission of self-video teaching

    Link to Course:

    Module two

  • January 2022

    Webinar 3. Small group webinars, each with 3 students and a mentor.


    Assessment. Assessing and evaluating young people’s music making.

    Link to Course:
    Module two

  • February 2022

    Webinar 4. Small group webinars, each with 3 students and a mentor. February

    Writing assignments, case study update and developing the portfolio.

    Link to Course:
    Course assessment

    Possible additional visits if required

  • May 2022

    Webinar 5


    Link to Course:
    Module 3

  • July 2022

    MilestoneThird self-video of teaching or lesson observation by course leader. July Title

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