In the national curriculum1 the musical activities of performing, composing, listening and appraisal are intended to be seen as inter-related, with assessment criteria that are designed to take into account the social dimension of musical participation within which every individuals’ contribution is valued. In a collaborative learning environment such as this, the teachers typically plan lessons to enable pupils to work together, unsupervised, in planning and rehearsing compositions which they subsequently perform to each other and to the teacher. Because much of class time tends to be devoted to ensuring that pupils have the required musical skills and knowledge, there is a danger that little time remains in which to prepare them for the challenges of working in a group context. Yet it is
this aspect of collaborative learning in music with which young people often need more assistance to enable them to recognize:
1. the importance and relevance of the task 2. how specific roles and responsibilities are assigned 3. how each member of a group can develop and sustain a shared focus to
promote a successful musical outcome.