Deepening our understanding of community music making

Published: 29/01/2019

The International Centre for Community Music (ICCM) at York St John University has been awarded research funding of $480,000 to work in collaboration with global youth music non-profit, JM International (JMI), on a project focusing on global folk music and young musicians.

The three-year research project, starting in February 2019, will focus on the Ethno programme. Ethno is JMI’s programme for folk, world and traditional music, aimed at young musicians aged 13-30. The project aims to bolster the Ethno programme’s impact, engaging with more young musicians worldwide, strengthening the programme’s organisational capacity and bringing greater global recognition to the vital work being done through Ethno.

Founded in Sweden in 1990, Ethno’s mission is to revive, invigorate and disseminate global traditional musical heritage. Today Ethno is present in over 20 countries, running a series of annual international music camps, workshops and concerts that promote peace, tolerance and understanding.

Commenting on the research award funding Professor Lee Higgins, Director of the ICCM, said:

“Our collaboration with JMI offers a fantastic opportunity for a sustained study into the both the processes and impact of community music making. This award provides the ICCM with the resources to engage both seasoned researchers and emerging scholars. It creates mentoring opportunities for current PhD students whilst creating a new PhD scholarship and a post-doctorial position. It’s all very exciting and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

At the core of Ethno lies its democratic peer-to-peer learning approach, where young musicians teach each other the music from their countries and cultures. This non-formal teaching provides a unique opportunity for young people from across the globe to come together and engage through music, characterised by respect, generosity and openness.

The research will focus on the impact that Ethno has had on the lives of young musicians, personally and professionally, over the past 30 years. The funding will enable the ICCM to employ a part-time Project Manager, fund a PhD student with travel and conference bursary, fund international field work, and support current York St John PhD students with research mentoring in the field and conference attendance relating to the project.

The project has been made possible through a grant from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, whose mission is to provide meaningful assistance and support to society, the arts and the environment.

 

About the International Centre for Community Music (ICCM)

About Jeunesses Musicales International (JM International)

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