Catherine Birch

Lecturer: Music, Education and Community

School of Performance & Media Production


T: 87 6809

Staff Profile Photo for Catherine Birch

Catherine Birch is a Lecturer in Community Music at York St John University, UK, and is also a regular practitioner for the York St John Prison Partnership Project. As a community musician, Catherine works primarily as a vocal leader, and has worked with all ages across the education sector as well as in community settings.

Further Information


Having worked in HE since 2011, Catherine's main areas of teaching have been in Community Music and Music Education. She oversees all the undergraduate music courses in Education and Community and inputs into the MA in Community Music.


Catherine is currently a PhD researcher through the ICCM, supervised by Professor Lee Higgins. The central research theme explores the use of vocal music as a means of promoting social change in complex community music settings with initial explorations seeking to unpack the processes by which participants can find their voice and the impact this can have on a renewed sense of identity, belonging and self-worth.

Professional Activities

As a current researcher with the ICCM, Catherine is involved in partnerships both nationally and internationally, contributing to student symposiums with Teacher's College, Columbia University, New York, The Free University of Bozen in Italy and this coming May with the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt in Germany. Catherine is also one of the Research Associates for the Ethno Research Company, formed to deliver a three-year research project that will be carried out by the International Centre for Community Music. The study will focus on the impact that Ethno has had on the lives of young musicians, personally and professionally, over the past thirty years.

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