Music Education Research Group

The Music Education Research Group focuses on projects exploring the intersections of practice and research.

Projects investigate aspects of practice in higher music education, community settings and other contexts; they aim to bring fresh perspective to existing issues and challenges, they offer updated insights, for example, through the application of technology to music education, and frequently serve to illuminate aspects of pedagogical practice with resultant implications for future teaching and scholarship.

Project highlights

Contact us

School of Arts and Creative Technologies

act@york.ac.uk
+44 (0)1904 325220

Social connectedness is an important part of wellbeing for adults with severe mental illness, but social isolation and loneliness disproportionately affect these individuals. The value of social connectedness has been further highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic, as social distancing measures and periods of lockdown seem likely to have resulted in high levels of anxiety and depression among adults with severe mental illness as well as reduced access to support. Many studies have demonstrated that group music-making (i.e. playing, singing, improvising, or composing together) strengthens social connectedness and empowers participants; however, research has yet to explore the motivations of people with severe mental illness for joint musical participation and creativity or to identify and address key challenges and barriers to participation.

This research project:

  1. explores the lived experiences of people with severe mental illness to identify motivations for and barriers to engaging in group creativity through sound/music-making
  2. works with adults with severe mental illness and music facilitators to design and create a video prototype for a collaborative sound/music-making system with supporting mobile app that can be used synchronously or asynchronously.

We hope that this technology will have a significant impact for people with severe mental illness, strengthening existing relationships as well as bringing together new creative communities.

Researcher: Dr Caroline Waddington-Jones

With the rise of the internet and digital technologies, innovative approaches to audience development, and cuts to arts funding and education, much has changed for UK-based chamber musicians in the 21st century.

This interview study explores the challenges that these musicians face and the wide-ranging set of skills that they must develop in response. Various barriers in relation to equality, diversity, and inclusion are identified, and implications for music education and for the future of the profession are explored.

Researcher: Dr Caroline Waddington-Jones

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated our use of technology to meet new challenges. Music teachers and facilitators have developed new skills, or refined existing skills, in relation to the use of online technology for music recording, performance, teaching, and communication. For music facilitators working with D/deaf learners, the shift to online learning has brought new practical and pedagogical challenges.

This study aims to explore experiences of asynchronous online music learning during the Covid-19 pandemic from the perspectives of both music facilitators and learners. The project is supported by the National Centre for Early Music's ‘I Can Play!’ project funded by Youth Music. 

Researchers: Dr Caroline Waddington-Jones and Dr Jennifer Cohen

This research project focuses on the health and wellness of musicians studying at the University of York in the School of Arts and Creative Technologies. It explores the experiences of undergraduate students participating in an elective 20-credit module focusing on the topic of Musicians’ Health and Wellness and how their participation may have affected their health-related beliefs and behaviours as musicians.

Preliminary analysis of results from the first phase of the research project were disseminated as part of an online seminar for the International Society for Music Education (ISME) Musicians’ Health and Wellness Special Interest Group (October 2020) and further analysis and dissemination of results will take place once the second iteration of the module is complete (Summer Term 2021).

This module represents one of the few opportunities for tertiary-level music students to access dedicated information about promoting musicians’ health and wellness as part of their curriculum; therefore, the results of this research project will have implications for tertiary-level music education courses worldwide.

Researcher: Dr Naomi Norton

Following previous work on students’ mental health and their views on support from their academic supervisor (Haddon, 2019) this project seeks to explore further views on mental health in HME.

Researcher: Dr Liz Haddon

Exploring intersections of pedagogy across cultures, this project develops previous work (Haddon, 2019) on perspectives of Chinese students studying MA Music programmes in a UK University to examine challenges experienced by returnees, strategies for adaptation of pedagogical practices for their own instrumental teaching and considers implications for global pedagogy.

Researcher: Dr Liz Haddon

This was a collaborative research project with Dr Andrew King (PI) and Dr Helen Prior at the University of Hull. We worked with NYMAZ to explore how pupils living in remote areas of England can access group instrumental learning via online technology and compared teacher and pupil lesson behaviours in online and face-to-face lessons. This research has taken on extra relevance in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Researchers: Dr Caroline Waddington-Jones & collaborators

Contact us

School of Arts and Creative Technologies

act@york.ac.uk
+44 (0)1904 325220