Rhinegold Photo credit: Morley von Sternberg

Melissa Bradshaw

Guildhall School of Music & Drama awarded £984,000 to lead three-year research project

4:32, 25th June 2019

Guildhall School of Music & Drama has been awarded a grant of just over £984,000 by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for a three-year research project on the social impact of making music.

Entitled Music for social impact: practitioners’ contexts, work and beliefs, the research is led by Guildhall School research professor John Sloboda OBE and is scheduled to begin in early 2020. Co-funding for the project has been supplied by the International Platform for Social Impact of Making Music.

‘This substantial research grant allows us to collaborate with expert researchers in three other countries to develop a truly international understanding of the ways that professional musicians work for social impact in very diverse settings,’ Sloboda comments.

The research will examine participatory music-making activities offered to groups around the world defined by factors such as their social needs or deprivation. These Socially Impactful Music Making (SIMM) activities focus on marginalised or excluded groups such as in regions of poverty, conflict or social disruption, people in prison or those who are homeless.

Through in-depth interviews and case studies of organisations across four countries (Belgium, Finland, the UK and Columbia), the project seeks to uncover how the SIMM providers’ backgrounds, training and beliefs affect the way they carry out their work and improve its effectiveness. The research aims to provide insights for training, commissioning and funding and creative development of best practice.

Lynne Williams AM, principal of Guildhall School of Music & Drama, said: ‘This is the largest grant made to the guildhall school for research and recognises our growing reputation for research and innovation in the area of arts practice and its social impact. As an institution we are focused on the concept of the artist in 21st century society and the roles and responsibilities of artists to make positive contributions to the lives of others.’


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