ABRSM is now an awarding body for the Certificate for Music Educators (CME) qualification.

We're currently working with music services, music hubs, colleges and organisations around the country to establish a list of course providers for the qualification, which will be confirmed here when available. 

What's the Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators (CME)?

The CME is a qualification for all music educators working in England with children and young people, whether they work privately, in music hubs, orchestras, community music organisations or other settings. It's been designed to improve the knowledge and skills of music educators and raise the quality of the experience for children and young people wherever they encounter musical learning.

Developed by the music education sector, led by Arts Council England and Creative and Cultural Skills, the CME is designed to support inspiring, motivational learning and to be relevant to all music educators, regardless of the musical genre they work in or the stage of their career.

The CME has been developed by representatives from the music education sector for musicians who are involved in musical learning activities for children and young people. It's designed to encourage all music educators, from those who are new to the workforce to those who are highly experienced, to develop new skills, consolidate their understanding of the purposes of music education, and encourage best practice in their contribution to children and young people’s knowledge, skills and understanding of music.

The new certificate aims to:

  • Support inspiring, progressive and motivational learning resulting from the effective work of music educators for children and young people
  • Be relevant to all music educators regardless of their position and stage in career
  • Offer music educators the opportunity to improve their skills, knowledge and understanding of the principles and practice of working with children and young people in music education
  • Enhance professional practice in music education to the benefit of schools, music education hubs, local authorities, music organisations like orchestras, community music organisations, and other organisations or individuals that employ musicians to work with children and young people
  • Be flexible, accessible and achievable to busy music educators
  • Offer a potential route of progression from the Level 3 Certificate for Creative and Cultural Practitioners Working with Children and Young People
  • Facilitate progression to higher level qualifications
Who's it for?

The ABRSM CME has been developed for anyone who works as a music educator with children and young people, including:

  • Instrumental and vocal teachers working privately, with schools and/or hubs
  • Primary teachers
  • Community musicians
  • Professional musicians who undertake education work
What are the entry requirements?

There are no specific entry requirements for the qualification, and music educators need not have any formal qualifications in music or in working with children and young people to enrol with a course provider. However, approved course providers will undertake an initial assessment of individuals who register for the qualification to ensure that they:

  • Have a level of competence in music practice and knowledge that's appropriate to the learning settings in which they're working
  • Have appropriate musical, communication and interpersonal skills that enable them to inspire confidence in, and elicit musical responses from, children and young people with whom they work
  • Are able to cope with the learning and assessment demands of the qualification
What does the CME consist of?

The certificate is made up of six units. Each unit relates to specific knowledge and/or skills that music educators should be able to demonstrate in order to work with children and young people. These are:

  • Understanding children and young people’s musical learning
  • Planning, facilitating and evaluating children and young people’s musical learning
  • Reflective practice and professional development
  • Promoting children and young people’s positive behaviour
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion in music education
  • Safeguarding children and young people in music education

All units must be completed to achieve the full Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators.

Assessment of each unit will be through a portfolio of evidence, including practical demonstration in the real work environment. To avoid learners having to repeat learning or undertake unnecessary courses of study, evidence of prior learning and experience may also be considered as a basis for determining whether a learner can demonstrate that they can meet the assessment requirements for one or more units.

How do I register on a course?

The ABRSM CME will be provided through approved course providers throughout the UK. Music educators interested in joining a course will need to register with an approved course provider. If you're interested in receiving details of course providers, please contact our Teacher Support team.

How much will it cost?

ABRSM will set the costs of becoming an approved course provider for the ABRSM CME, but won't set the cost of the course fees to learners. You'll need to speak to a registered course provider for details of course fees.

How do I apply to become a course provider?

ABRSM is validating course providers for the CME qualification. This is done through a validation process, starting with an initial discussion with the awarding body. If you're interested in becoming a course provider, please contact our Teacher Support team.

Further information

If you have any questions about the CME, please contact our Teacher Support team using the form below.

See details of policies and processes.


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our website, you are agreeing to our cookie policy and consent to our use of cookies. Find out more.