The Certificate of Music Education is a programme of training and development delivered by the Music Service that is accredited and awarded by Trinity College of Music at a GNVQ Level 4 (equivalent to the first year undergraduate). It is a part-time course and takes up to 2 years to complete.

This course is particularly useful for anyone engaged in music teaching:

  • Music leaders
  • Instrumental teachers
  • Aspiring music leaders
  • Teaching assistants
  • Interested governors
  • Curriculum leaders seeking subject knowledge

What we offer

Our course is to enable you to develop your professional skills and knowledge in your own timeframe. The course consists of 6 units that focus on:

  1. Understanding why and how we know music is so important
  2. Understanding music learning and the skills that we need to support musical learning
  3. Evaluating how we do it!

In exploring these areas of expertise, you will gain:

  • an understanding of the basic principles and concepts associated with music education and the implications of these for young people’s musical learning in all settings
  • the musical and pedagogical knowledge and skills necessary to support young people’s musical learning and progression in your work place
  • an awareness of core debates, perspectives and approaches in music education
  • an ability to make appropriate informed professional judgements
  • an ability to make an informed evaluation of the appropriateness of different approaches to music education
  • an ability to communicate ideas and views about music education within structured and coherent arguments, drawing on knowledge and understanding of key debates, perspectives, principles and concepts of music education, and of statutory and policy frameworks
  • to engage critically with fundamental debates, principles, theories and concepts relating to your work
  • an ability to identify your own continuing professional development needs and the means by which these might be met.

I already have a full-time job – how can I study at the same time?

This is experiential learning whilst on the job! You have up to 2 years but most complete it in 18 months. During the programme you will need to attend training sessions, some lesson observations, time in school and private study. Remember some of this is done through your regular teaching.

Do I need to be able to play a musical instrument?

You will need to be able to play and sing at the level required for your work place setting which may be in schools or part of a community group, youth group.

Do I need any music qualifications?

No. You will need a real interest in music education in your workplace setting and you will be expected to model the type of music you engage in your workplace setting.

Do I need to be able to read music?

No. You will learn some of this as necessary on the course but if you can read music it will be useful.

What will my commitment be?

  1. You will be invited to attend a CME taster day in September
  2. If you are still interested in joining the course, you will be invited to an interview as an opportunity to talk through your specific requirements. The interview will last 45 minutes and you will need to show musicianship appropriate to your teaching situation. You will need a real interest in children’s musical learning. You will need to sing or play a musical instrument by ear or from music – ideally bring a piece from your workplace so we can talk about the piece, why you chose it and how you use it.
    You will also need to:

    • Have undertaken or be willing to undertake an enhanced disclosure check
    • Bring with you any other supporting documentation concerning musical achievement that you might want to present
    • Bring a CV to date
  3. Throughout the course you will be asked to keep a confidential professional diary. This will form the basis of a record of your reflections and evidence collection.

How is the course assessed?

This is a pass / fail certificate. You have 2 years to allocate 180 hours of study that include:

  • 8 x 1 day workshops
  • 3 lesson observations
  • 3 shared teaching sessions
  • reading and discussing set articles and papers
  • an option to observe another teacher
  • the collation of a portfolio

The final assessment is through submission of a portfolio of the work collected and presented in a suitable way throughout the year. The work is assessed against the assessment criteria. Download the Specification for Trinity CME assessment (pdf).

How much does it cost?

For the complete course the cost is £1,000. Subsidies may be available for candidates who are working with children aged between 5-18 in Norfolk. Please contact the Music Service for further info. Course learners will be expected to make their own travel arrangements to and from teaching sessions and travel to visiting schools and provide their own lunch at each workshop.

What are the dates of the course?

Introduction Day: Saturday 30th September
Interviews if people want to join the course: Saturday 7th October

Day 1: Monday 23 October
Day 2: Tuesday 24 October

Day 3: Saturday 16 December

Day 4: Monday 12 February
Day 5: Tuesday 13 February

Day 6: Saturday 21 April
(optional extra 22 April)

Day 7: Saturday 9 June
(optional extra 10 June)

Download resources

For more information on what studying for the Trinity CME is like, take a look at the resources below.

How do I apply?

We are no longer taking applications for 2017/18.

For more information contact Gillian Shaw, Norfolk Music Service.


I have taught ukulele in Norfolk for over 4 years both privately and in schools…The experience from the Music Educators course will improve my current practice and through the mentoring scheme I can explore new ideas to benefit a wide range of students.

The course means I can learn on the job – this has been critical to real development in my practice.

The CME qualification will give me some status in the workplace, rather than being ‘the lady who does singing’.

CME Year 1 learners


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