The Music Lab

YEAR: 2020

How can music-making practices in Music Education Hubs in England incorporate youth voice?

Sound Connections & Dr Anna Bull

The Music Lab is an action research project that examines how Youth Voice can be embedded in music-making practices within classical music education.

With support from Agrigento, Jennifer Raven and Dr Anna Bull brought The Music Lab to life with a team including nineteen 11-16 year-old young people; Keith Sykes, Charly Richardson and the team at Lewisham Music Hub; Isabella Mayne (musical facilitator); and Jacob Sakil (youth worker).

The Music Lab team (participants and practitioners) explored classical music education through both practical activities and discussion, with participants reflecting on their own experiences of classical music education and how they thought it could be more inclusive and youth-led.

The output of this research is a toolkit for exploring Youth Voice within music-making practices in classical music education. This toolkit outlines ideas and activities which were developed in The Music Lab, as well as wider material drawing on participatory arts practice as applied to instrumental music education. It aims to provide tools for practitioners to explore and/or enhance Youth Voice engagement within their practice, as well as to provoke reflection and discussion around the challenges of embedding such an approach. It is aimed at a wide range of practitioners: from instrumental teachers, class music teachers, ensemble leaders and other musicians and teachers working in the classical music education sector, to Music Education Hub management and other organisations working in this area.

Download the toolkit here.

Project Team

Jennifer Raven

Deputy Director, Sound Connections

Project Partner

Lewisham Music

Dr Anna Bull

Senior Lecturer in Sociology, School of Education and Sociology, University of Portsmouth

Photo credits (Lewisham Music): Clive Tagg