Transition of Music Badges

I have a number of cadets who qualified for the metal Silver Band badges under the old system. The New Musician Badges (if you can get them)work very differently and is causing angst amongst the musicians. The majority will now go from Silver to Blue as they are either no longer available to play for the Wing or Region Bands due to part time work and roughly 60% of them qualified by being members rather than grading.
I’m supportive of their points and believe the decision not to allow a transition across to the new silver or even bronze is a little hard hearted.
I would welcome other thoughts…

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Personally, I’d just buy the new badges (if the wing badge wallah won’t hand them out), and give them to the cadets to wear. We’re here to encourage the cadets, not to strip them of qualifications because of reasons beyond their control.


No, they will go from the old, basic musicians’ badge to the new basic musician’s badge.

Remember too that you don’t need to play in a band to earn bronze or silver badges - you just need the appropriate grade.

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I would suggest you have to be more musically competent to get through grades than in an ATC band.

Interesting. 2 of the cadets have left education and are therefore stuck for the grading option as they no longer have a teacher etc. It just seems a shame there isn’t a transition for guys moving across. Not even had a sniff at a shooting badge but I’m guessing these will transit like for like?

If they are keen, they could talk to the LA music services to see if there are options for tuition or join a local band / ensemble.
Our LA advertises a couple of ensembles for wind and string groups and youth orchestra, this is on top of ‘town’ bands. I’d imagine there would be access to formal tuition as well through these, rather than just playing.

I’ve always wondered why we give a badge simply for getting a music grade which had nothing to do with cadets.

I have had a lot of cadets who wear bronze DofE badges, but have done them elsewhere prior to joining and even then into the future what they do in the ATC only represents a part of the award.

I’ve got cadets with musician badges. The closest cadet band is 15 miles away and meets on a Friday. The squadron band is limited to ‘drum and trumpet’ and this doesn’t necessarily appeal to musically inclined cadets.

You could say the same of cadets who get their PPL and wear FS badges.

I’m all for cadets wearing badges for things they can’t do in the Corps, but do them as other hobbies, if someone suggests an equivalence.

Your wing music person should be able to assist. I believe they can assess?

I’ve been looking into finding to get some drums. Do it was a project on sqn. Would be good for getting those cadets who don’t have access to music into it, used as a skill for DofE and work towards their blue badge.

If you don’t want to spend out, why not ask your wing bandmaster to bring some instruments down and run an evening or two?

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Spoke with them briefly but they are following the rule book (which is applied consistently by them to their credit) so no wiggle room.
I will do some studying to see if a loop hole can be found.
On the subject of basic old to basic new it is a perfectly valid point. However as the Blue Badges are aimed at cadets starting their careers the Blue is not held in high esteem with the older cadets.
Loop hole hunting here I come😩

Can they teach to grade levels?

I’ve no idea, but in the old document it said to approach your wing band person if you needed help. Maybe that would be something they could assist with?

I imagine that would depend how musical they are and if they are musicians themselves and therefore in touch with music education services locally.

Bit of digging in ACTO 123 and have found that Blue is based on ability either by Examination Grade or expert testimony or by assessment by Wing Band Master.
Copy follows of an extract of ACTO 123.
Item C is my possible loop hole…and akin to non ATC D of E/ PPL badges etc. I have asked the question through the official channels.
Bronze Badges
8. It is not necessary for a cadet to be in a band to qualify for a ‘bronze’ badge – although the assessment route is designed with band members in mind. A cadet may qualify for a ‘bronze’ badge in one of three ways:
a. By passing a recognised music board examination at grade 5 (practical) in one of the instruments listed in the Table at Annex A. (A copy of the examination certificate is to be forwarded to Wg HQ as evidence of achievement).
b. By (having qualified or subsequently qualifying for the appropriate ‘blue’ badge) performing in a representative capacity2 at Wing level.
c. By performing, on a regular basis, in a band or other ensemble graded as “bronze”.
My only question is what is a Bronze or Silver Band and who decides?

Generally that will be Wing/Region respectively, but I think it’s been left deliberately vague to allow for things like sector bands.

Indeed but are listed as “A Band or Ensemble” as a separate entity to Wing / Region Band. It’s a hole though so I will see if I can get through.

Depends on the colour of the instruments, a brass band will wear a bronze badge and a silver band will wear a silver badge.

I will get my coat, bye…



Update. Have got a reply from “the powers”. If a cadet plays for a band/choir/ensemble/group deemed to be Bronze or Silver grade (equivalent standard of Wing or Region) the cadet will be awarded the relevant badge in Bronze or Silver. The Bronze will be assessed by Wing Band Master, silver by Region etc.