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Faculty of Music


‘The Music Lab’: Embedding youth voice within instrumental classical music education

Despite decades of policy and practice interventions towards supporting young people’s voices in education more widely, instrumental classical music education has not tended to adopt a youth voice perspective. However, music education organisations such as ‘hubs’ in the UK have started to explore what youth voice in music education could look like. This interest coincides with an increasing attention to inclusion and diversity in classical music and classical music education.  

In this talk, I explore whether and how classical music and classical music education might change to become more inclusive through exploring possibilities for embedding youth voice in instrumental education. I draw on data from a workshop entitled ‘The Music Lab’ that I ran with Lewisham Music Hub in South London, and Sound Connections, a music education charity that supports youth voice. Across two days of creative music-making with 11-16 year olds who learn classical instruments, we explored how youth voice, in the form of musical and creative decision-making, can be embedded within instrumental classical music education. The talk explores young people’s experiences of creative musical decision-making in this space; how the conventions of classical music as a genre shaped their musical voices; and how the wider ‘institutional ecology’ of music education shaped the possibilities for young people’s musical voices.

Wednesday, 23 February, 2022 - 17:00
Event location: 
Recital Room, Faculty of Music and online via Zoom (email for link)