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International Centre for Community Music

Our research

Find out about our current research and completed projects.

Three women listening to musician outside

Our current projects

Ethno Research: 2018 to 2021

We work in collaboration with global youth music non-profit, JM International, on a project focusing on global folk music and young musicians.

The purpose of Ethno Research is to explore the hypothesis that Ethno music camps provide transformational sociocultural and musical significances for those that engage in its activities. Against a framework through which the phenomenon of Ethno-World can be historically and contemporary understood, three distinct lines of enquiry guide us:

  • Pedagogy and professional development
  • Experience
  • Reverberations

Seeking to inform those with responsibilities for Ethno-World and, more broadly, cultural policy decision makers, community development leaders, music educators, potential funding organisations, and aspiring musicians, Ethno Research will respond to three overarching questions:

  • In what ways can the growth and development of Ethno-World be understood as an historical socio-cultural phenomenon?
  • What are Ethno-World’s stated and unstated tenets and to what extent are these enacted in its activities?
  • What is the nature and significance of the Ethno experience for participants and non-participants?

Ethno Research Project Website 

Ethno Pilot Studies Key Findings (PDF, 1.4 MB)

Completed projects

Singing for Health in Morecambe: 2019

The International Centre for Community Music (ICCM) was invited to respond to an existing brief that sought to understand how two new singing groups were developing.

This was part of a pilot project established to connect with older people experiencing isolation, and, young people who were connected with the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

These singing groups were set up in partnership with a local GP practice and a local CAHMS team to explore possible arts partnerships as a way to challenge health inequalities relating to mental health experiences in Morecambe.

Singing for Health Summary (PDF, 90.7 kB)

Singing for Health Report (PDF, 3.4 MB)

Musoc - Music and Social Intervention Network: 2017 to 2019

Made possible through AHRC funding, this project brought together scholars engaged in a broad variety of research and focussed on musicians who provide active interventions within the fields of music therapy, community music therapy, community music, music education, music and health, music and wellbeing, and music and rehabilitation, in order to initiate dialogue, to identify areas of both conceptual difference and synergy, and to help develop a more holistic epistemology for this fast-emerging field.

Through exploring a series of research questions, the network's objective was to foster debate, inspire dialogue and create new discourses surrounding excellence and inclusion within music interventions.

Our aims were to:

  • Identify different constructions of excellence and inclusion from the perspective of different fields of study that intersect community music;
  • Subject these constructions to critique in order to question and challenge the way they are interpreted through research, and how they affect practice;
  • Generate a network of researchers and practitioners from across different fields of study, practice, and locations, opening up the debate to the wider international community and move knowledge and understanding forward.

Three public events provided an opportunity for those working in the field to meet and discuss issues surrounding excellence and inclusion. You can access responses to the events using the links below:

Looked after children and music making: 2016 to 2018

Commissioned by soundLINCS and funded by Youth Music, this research focused on the efficacy of a training initiative which sought a greater understanding of music, and its value as a resource and intervention for Children’s Services Practitioners (CSPs) in Lincolnshire.

The research team took part in a number of training days and engaged the participants in interviews and focus groups exploring the interaction between the Community Music Facilitator and the Children’s Services Practitioners, the music skills being passed on and their potential impact on the workforce.

Questions included:

  • What are the distinctive approaches to music development CPD in the soundLINCS project?
  • What are each stakeholder group’s experiences of music development CPD?
  • What is the perceived impact of music development CPD from the perspectives of each stakeholder group?
  • What are the wider implications of the project?

Fusion Project Summary (PDF, 0.3 MB)

Fusion project Final Report (PDF, 1.3 MB)

Converge - educational opportunities for people who use mental health services: 2014 to 2015

Led by Dr Liz Mellor, this project looked at the the impact and benefits of shared musical experience with adults who use mental health services within Converge, a social enterprise in a university setting.

The Converge Music Research Project met the claims of the research to evidence not only that Converge Music Courses benefitted participants, but also, that there were a wide range of psycho-social and benefits of music education. Importantly, the shared music experience emerged as a key driver to support psycho- social change for Converge Music Students.

Converge Final Report (PDF 0.4 MB)

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