Improvisation and an inclusive HE music curriculum : "Taking Race Live"

Minors, Helen (2017) Improvisation and an inclusive HE music curriculum : "Taking Race Live". In: Music Box Research Seminars Edinburgh College; 11 Sep 2017, Edinburgh, U.K.. (Unpublished)


In response to the need to construct an inclusive music curriculum in HE, the funded-project “Taking Race Live” (2014-2019) sought to acknowledge students’ prior experience while ensuring to enhance their engagement through a wider variety of student-led activities. Appointing student partners, the project and the musical improvisations worked on a principal of distributed leadership, which we hoped would impact positively on students’ confidence, resilience and sense of inclusion. With Key Performance Indicators regarding the Black-Asian-Minority-Ethnicity attainment gap, the work of this project demonstrated positive impact. Evidenced through qualitative/quantitative analysis in this paper, I show how an inclusive curriculum and research with student partners benefits pedagogic research in Music. Running in collaboration with Sociology the project won the University’s “Rose Award” for “Teaching, Learning and Assessment Research” (October 2016) – this paper reassesses the work through the lens of the music educator. Presenting the results of a longitudinal study of level 5 music students studying improvisation and analysis, this paper presents the student voice through focus groups to offer significant insights into constructing and applying an inclusive curriculum. I question how improvisation teaching was used alongside analysis to advance students critical thinking, and how debates concerning students musical identities was projected through their improvisations.

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