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Musical Pride Research

14 Jul 2016

Musical Pride: Music education in plural communities

Report from UCL Institute of Education Dr Andrea Creech, Dr Jo Saunders, Prof. Graham Welch

The research explored the provision of music services through hub partnerships in 'plural' towns, where no ethnic group is in the majority.

"How can we achieve and demonstrate greater access, inclusion and participation in and through music by more closely matching local music education provision to the particular needs of the diverse and pluralist communities of modern Britain?"

More information: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/

Please contact the music service office to request the full Musical PRIDE report.

Slough is one of three towns or cities in the UK with more than 50% black and minority ethnic population, the others being Leicester and Luton. They are known as plural towns or cities (Simpson, L; 2013.) because there is no ethnic group with an overall majority.  The Luton, Leicester and Slough music hub alliance therefore commissioned UCL Institute of Education researchers Andrea Creech, Jo Saunders and Graham Welch to explore the provision of music hubs in the three ‘plural’ towns.

Through the findings we hope to achieve and demonstrate greater access, inclusion and participation in and through music by more closely matching local music education provision to the particular needs of the diverse and pluralist communities of modern Britain.  

There are a number of local contextual factors regarding the diversity  of pupils ethnic origins within schools has been taken into account when planning the activities of the music hub.  This is particularly reflected in the development of the ‘Musical PRIDE in Luton, Leicester and Slough initiative, where PRIDE stands for Participation, Reach, Inclusion, Diversity and Engagement.

Findings and Recommendations In order to achieve greater participation and inclusion in and through music, aligning provision with local need and addressing gaps and barriers to participation, some emergent recommendations for music hub are are:

  1. Enhanced dialogue with schools, exploring the most effective ways to work together. Because music education provision is highly variable, it is essential that schools are supported in developing multicultural music education practices, and that they are able to articulate their own needs as well as the ways in which they can contribute to a wider inclusive music education offer;
  2. Support for Primary Schools in developing aspirations and skills in music education and, in particular, looking at how the ‘First Access’ whole-class instrumental teaching may be used more effectively as a tool for multi-cultural musical experiences;
  3. A re-examination of the progression pathways from the ‘First Access’ whole-class instrumental teaching that many children experience in Primary Schools. For example, progression routes could broaden out to encompass informal, non-formal and formal music education in diverse genres, making explicit the ways in which skills gained in ‘First Access’ may be applied and developed;
  4. A focus on how to sustain engagement over the transition period from Primary to Secondary School. For example, initiatives that support Year 7 pupils, who may not receive curriculum music lessons until the Spring or Summer terms, in accessing extra-curricular musical activities. Such support might include additional information and communication media, taster days facilitated by Primary School Music Coordinators, and role models;
  5. Support for pupils in overcoming intrapersonal and structural barriers to participation. For example, transportation for inter-school activities; a welcoming environment; clear information about access; and buddy systems;
  6. A concerted campaign for parents, carers and young people, focusing on the wider benefits of music and the value of music education as a pathway into the creative industries and well-being;
  7. Strong support for networking between schools, facilitating networking, sharing of exemplar cases of where music is working well, mentoring and pooling of resources where possible;
  8. Strong support for partnership working between schools and musicians in the community, with this support being integrated in to the overarching progression strategy