What is the power of research in community music?

Published: 17/10/2017

Community Music Student Research Symposium 2017: Enriching student research and celebrating community music

In November, York St John University and the International Centre for Community Music (ICCM) will be hosting the third Community Music Student Research Symposium. The event provides an energetic supportive space for students to share current community music research and hear from eminent speakers in the field.

Held over two days the symposium aims to encourage student dialogue around research taking place in the subject area and give delegates an opportunity to reflect on how the research connects to the wider fields of music and community engagement.

The ICCM is delighted to welcome Alicia de Bánffy-Hall as the symposiums keynote speaker. Alicia is an influential community musician with over 10 years’ experience in research, consulting on creative learning and community music and movement work. She has also co-edited the first German language community music book.

The symposium is student learning focused and offers an encouraging space to support student development in research by providing an opportunity to present papers, chair a panel or support with developing papers into journal articles.

Student Ryan Humphrey, who is studying his postgraduate degree in community music, said; “Having attended and presented at both the previous student symposiums, I have found the experience to be one that was useful for helping me understand the different areas being researched in community music across the world. It was also useful for helping me develop my research further, as I could present and gain feedback from the people in the room, which being an undergraduate student at that point was a unique opportunity.

“I am looking forward to the conference this year and hearing about the different research that is going on around the field of community music and having the opportunity to present my initial ideas for my MA by research in a supportive environment.”

The ICCM provides a global forum through which community music research, teaching, scholarship, professional practice and pedagogy can be nurtured and developed. Launched in 2015 the growing community of researchers including student researchers enriches connections through sharing; nuances of each context, approaches to community music and best practice.

Professor Lee Higgins, Director of the International Centre for Community Music (ICCM) said; “In recent years community music has become an important aspect of music education worldwide. The ICCM is playing an important role in this growth and development acting as a connecting point between people, projects, and education institutes. The student conference is one of our enterprises and we are looking forward to welcoming emerging scholars to York St John.”

The Community Music Student Research Symposium, is just one of the elements of work that the ICCM undertakes. Other ICCM activities include active partnerships with other community music conferences in Canada and Italy and working towards publishing a peer reviewed student and early career journal called Transform: New voices in community music research and practice.


The Symposium takes place 20-21 November 2017, to find out more visit the ICCM website. To book tickets visit the event page

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