Whole Class Ensemble Teaching (WCET)

Research Project 2016

Music Mark, in partnership with Professor Susan Hallam MBE (UCL Institute of Education) and a convened Steering Group, undertook research with its members into Whole Class Ensemble Teaching (WCET).

The aims of the research were:

  • to identify examples of high-quality WCET
  • to provide a context for WCET in identifying the nature of programmes on offer, the role of schools and challenges faced
  • to investigate how WCET can make best use of specialist instrumental teaching and learning pedagogy in whole classes


Learn more about the research

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A headteacher discusses how WCET programme (formerly known as Wider Opportunities) became a sustainable provision within the school community.

Senior Music Service leaders discuss critical partnership working to build relationships with key school staff.

A headteacher describes the importance of high quality musician teachers to inspire children's musical learning and provide aspirational performance opportunities.

A peripatetic music teacher discusses approach to musical learning, use of notation and benefits of differentiation within the wide range of children’s ability within a WCET programme.
A full ‘Band on the Run’ rehearsal demonstrating leadership of warm-up riff and making use of more advanced player as role model.
A peripatetic music teacher and teaching assistant describe how a ‘Bridge Band’ was formed to enable children to continue the musical learning beyond their initial WCET programme.
A Year 3 recorder (pre-WCET) lesson illustrates an approach to reading rhythm musically and making use of interactive white board flash cards.
A peripatetic music teacher describes his expectations for a WCET programme and, with over 20-years experience, how his approach to instrumental learning was completely challenged and changed through teaching WCET.
A Year 6 xylophone lesson where the music teacher makes exclusive use of music as the target language for teaching a new melody.