International Centre for Community Music launched at York St John University
Published: 26 June 2015
The Centre, the first of its kind in the world, will act as a global forum for community music through which research, teaching, scholarship, professional practice and pedagogy can be developed and shared.
It is led by Professor Lee Higgins, a leading specialist in community music, and internally supported by Professor Liz Mellor, researcher, and Chris Bartram, community musician.
The launch followed a one-day conference held in collaboration with Sound Sense (the UK professional association promoting community music and supporting community musicians) for students currently or recently engaged in community music research. The conference themes focused on music and inclusivity; music, participation, and social justice; music participation and cultural democracy; and music, participation, power and knowledge. More than 40 people attended the event sharing their papers and ideas through an online forum two weeks prior to the conference.
Professor Higgins said:
“Community music is non-formal music education and community musicians work in locations such as hospitals, prisons, schools and community centres. The Centre reflects an acknowledgement of the importance of music in response to the world we currently live in. As a fundamental part of being human music is essential to our lives. A deeper understanding of its impact enables a greater understanding of the human condition. Our ambition is that the ICCM is the go-to place to explore questions of this nature."
Professor Higgins joined York St John University in 2014 from Boston University, Massachusetts, where he will continue to work as an Associate Professor in Music Education until 2016. As Director of the ICCM, he aims to draw on his experiences and continue to work collaboratively with academics, practitioners, educators and policy makers to create to support the development of community music.