U2-funded Music Generation says music education needs diverse approaches

Research by Ireland’s Music Generation reinforces the belief – central to many music education hubs in England – that diverse approaches to methods and outcomes are essential in music education.

Music Generation is Ireland’s national music education programme. It was initiated by Music Network, and is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and local music education partnerships, and aims to change the way Ireland looks at music education for children and young people.

Rosaleen Molloy, national director of Music Generation, says the “lightbulb moment” came when they began to examine in detail how music is impacting on young people in very different ways. “There is more than one way that we can engage children and young people in music education. It’s not just about taking piano lessons and doing graded exams.”

The research, Possible Selves in Music, was commissioned in partnership with Dublin City University and looked at how musical experiences impacted on the lives of young people at Music Generation centres around the country.

The results showed that there is no single, right way to approach music education. Instead, diverse approaches to music education across all genres is necessary to provide positive experiences for young people.

“As a very rigorous academic document this goes very deeply into the ‘how’ of Music Generation,” said Rosaleen Molloy. “This is not an evaluation report. This is a very new way for music education in Ireland. It has identified different ways in which children can engage across different types of music education activities. It is revealing an entire new model for how a range of partners can come together to make something valuable happen. It’s very much a guidance document that we will refer to over the next five years.”

“Diversity permeates how we’re doing this. That’s what’s so revolutionary about it,” she adds. “This has never really been done before, not just in Ireland but internationally.”

Sources:
The Irish Times: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/music-generation-new-approach-to-music-education-strikes-right-chord-1.2870477
Music Generation: http://www.musicgeneration.ie/blog/article/possible-selves-in-music-a-research-partnership-between-music-generation-an/

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