Music and Social, Emotional and Mental Health

This innovative programme specialising in music work with children and young people with Social, Emotional, & Mental Health difficulties was specially designed by MAC Makes Music and is now in its second year. 

What does the course cover?

This is an intensive music training programme around working inclusively with children and young people in challenging circumstances. The course is the first of its kind to focus on working with children and young people with Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties, notably those excluded from school or at risk of exclusion.

The course has a strong emphasis on practical musical skills including rhythm, voice work, improvisation, and song-writing. Additional skills include leadership, facilitation, group work, behaviour management, and reflective practice.

The course features guest speakers from a range of specialisms including music technology and staff from City of Birmingham School (Pupil Referral Unit).

The full course involves 8 training days as well as placement opportunities with experienced music leaders in schools, pupil referral units and alternative education settings.

Who is the course for?

The course has been designed in partnership with the course leader; musical inclusion specialist Dr Phil Mullen and is aimed at musicians, music students, teachers, community musicians, and other professionals who have an interest in working with these young people.

This area of work is highly specialised and there is increasing demand for skilled music leaders in this area;

“It’s great that you are training more musicians – we need more people like you, who understand our children” Head of Centre, Pupil Referral Unit

Please note all training days run from 10am-5pm at Midlands Arts Centre, B12 9QH

Feedback from 2018-19 Participants

“It’s given me more confidence and made me think that this is definitely what I want to go into.”

“I didn’t know what a PRU was before this course. It has been inspiring and has given me lots to think about. I’ve now got lots of useful resources and ideas up my sleeve.”

“The course has encouraged me to think a lot more deeply about what I am doing. I now have lots of ideas that I now go off and use in my practice. The sessions I run after course days always go really well.”

“I have been looking to find a more fulfilling role within my teaching such as music therapy, and this training will enable me to do something more positive with the children and young people that I already work with and help enrich their lives.”

"Things that I would stress over I feel more comfortable dealing with such as a child being disruptive in a class.”

“It’s more of an awareness, there’s elements that can be transferred. I’d like to think I’ve accrued more skills to support my practice.”


2019-20 course places cost £200 per person as they were heavily subsidised by support from Youth Music.

Payment plan applications may be considered depending on individual circumstances. There are a limited number of bursaries available to Music Education Hubs. 

About MAC Makes Music

Midlands Arts Centre is a strategic partner of Youth Music and a member of Youth Music’s Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England (AMIE), working towards creating a musically inclusive England, where every child can access music-making opportunities, regardless of their circumstances.

Through MAC Makes Music, we champion innovation in music making approaches, support workforce development and advocate for equality in music education in partnership with Music Education Hubs in Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Solihull and Worcestershire.

Our passion is to offer young people high quality music making experiences led by a team of highly experienced musicians. The young person’s voice and creativity is at the heart of a diverse music offer in new music technology, song writing, band development, singing and music production.