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News article

Major grant for community music researchers at York St John University

Published: 17 May 2021

  •   Research
Young people playing guitar

The Centre has been awarded €19,600 (£16,862) to conduct research into international volunteer exchange programme MOVE (Musicians and Organizers Volunteer Exchange).  

Set up in 2012, the MOVE Project enables young musicians to plan concerts, festivals, workshops, and music tuitions. Volunteers are offered free living costs, travel expenses and language lessons, with the exchange programme reaching between Norway, Malawi, Mozambique and Brazil.  

The project is coordinated by JM Norway with funding from The Norwegian Agency for Exchange Cooperation (NOREC). JM Norway is the Norwegian section for Jeunesses Musicales International the world’s largest international network for young musicians. 

ICCM will conduct research into the project’s development, impact, and future.  

Professor Lee Higgins, Director of the ICCM said: “MOVE is a vibrant exchange programme offering exceptional opportunities for young people through music. Offering a potentially rich cultural contribution, we will bring an approach to our research that is reflective of the practice on the ground and the philosophical conception that underpins it.  

“We would hope that the final written report will identify development priorities to support a new generation of young leaders, motivated by intercultural exchange.” 

Ruth Currie, a York St John PhD graduate, will lead the project which will also look to building the research team, with future research positions this summer.  

The research has currently identified three main areas. Firstly, as a topic of philosophical enquiry, the MOVE project will be considered from its original inception, using archival documents and interviews, and tracing shifts that may have occurred at the various sites.    

Secondly, the research will look at the impact of the project on those who participated. Using a combination of survey data and webinars, researchers will explore how MOVE impacted life choices, and shaped the journeys of those who took part.  

Finally, the research will situate MOVE in the context of learning. The project will tease out the key questions that can stimulate organisational learning. In doing so, the mission of MOVE can be evaluated, and its future considered in detail. 

The research will run until December 2021. 

Find out more about the International centre for community music | York St John University ( 

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