Written by Dr. Victoria Kinsella, Research fellow in education.
In April 2014, the National Foundation for Youth Music announced grants to support 10 Exchanging Notes projects across England. Since September, each project (a partnership between a school and specialist music provider) has been working with young people at risk of low attainment, disengagement or educational exclusion to see how participation in regular music-making activities can enable achievement of musical, educational and wider outcomes. The 10 projects comprise a wide range of educational contexts, all developing innovative approaches and working with a variety of different musical approaches and styles. This includes; music technology, learning an instrument, singing, group percussion, song-writing, music mentoring, production, performance and musical communication.
I am very excited to be working as part of a team of researchers at Birmingham City University on this longitudinal four year action research evaluation. It is hoped that the results of this project may have great significance to the music education sector to stimulate fresh thinking and support the aspirations set out in the National Plan for Music Education.
Alongside regular visits to the settings, we have already had two national meetings hosted at the University. These meetings have provided a great opportunity to share effective practice, discuss challenges, disseminate early findings and build an exchanging notes community. I look forward to observing the second term of music activities and keeping you updated on its progress