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Music - Research informed

The research interests of the teaching team inform the music curriculum in many ways and students have a range of opportunities to take part in that research.


Practice as Research in Music

All the staff at YSJ compose, and staff member David Lancaster is currently studying composition for PhD Practice as Research. We have a strong ‘hands on’ and ‘composing culture’ at YSJ running through many aspects of the modules where students get an opportunity to experiment with sound, devise compositions on their own and with others, perform and share their compositions in lunchtime and evening concerts.


Researching Music in Everyday Life

Dr Liz Mellor is an established researcher and is Reader in Music and Applied Arts. Liz’s publications include writing on aesthetic development, creativity, composition, collaboration, community music, singing, health and well-being in music education. Liz’s research interests have involved a series of ‘students-as-researchers’ projects iSING, iLEAP, iCOMPOSE. Some of the research findings have contributed to developing the university music curriculum and have contributed to national/international conferences and publications.

  • There are opportunities for students to be involved as research assistants in research projects. Students can also apply for the M.A. by Research and PhD (University of Leeds) to further their research interests whilst studying at York St John.
  • The YSJU CETL: C4C Singing, Health and Wellbeing Research Fellowship included many students and contributed to Arts and Health Research. We now have a popular research project in the degree programme of the same name.
  •  Staff members Liz Mellor and Chris Bartram and many students from the Community Music Module, are currently involved in researching aspects of our CONVERGE initiative, across music, dance and drama, for service users of Mental Health.
  • Research plays an important part in 3rd year work, where students get an opportunity to research their own interests supported by staff. We have had a range of very successful research dissertations, and projects and presentations. In addition research techniques are taught on the ‘Research and Enterprise’ Module in Year 3, which give students the skills to link to the wider community of arts practice and research and to devise, present and share their research with others as a basis for employment. 
  • Students have given presentations with staff across the university community in relation to Teaching and Learning, have had papers accepted at postgraduate conferences and have contributed to national advisory groups e.g. The National Autistic Society.


Case Studies

Case Study 1 - The Patchwork Composition Project »

Case Study 2 - SING »

Case Study 3 - Music in the Community »

Case Study 4 - Arts and Health Project »