Transforming Communities

Count Me In! Applications invited for fully funded 3-year PhD

Count Me In! is an internationally innovative project that explores how children and young people with severe and profound disabilities experience music, and investigates the strategies that musicians can use to make their creative interventions accessible.

Applications are invited for a fully funded, three-year PhD to be hosted jointly by the Centre for Learning, Teaching and Human Development in the School of Education the University of Roehampton, and Live Music Now, a leading national charity offering interactive music sessions with a wide range of people, which enhance health and well-being, improve communication, and promote development. The studentship will begin in October 2022, with a six-month initial research-skills fully funded training programme prior to the commencement of the doctoral research.

Count Me In! is underpinned by the thinking set out in the Sounds of Intent framework of musical development. It will use the principle of ‘musical deconstruction’, enabling musicians to disaggregate musical structures and present them discretely, making pieces accessible at different music-developmental levels. Subsequently, ‘reconstruction’ is possible, facilitating inclusion in musical activities across the spectrum of neurodiversity.

The research will entail running a series of practical interventions using musicians from Live Music Now working with 12 severely or profoundly disabled pupils in each of six special schools for a year (72 in total). Developmentally appropriate resources will be created in partnership with the musicians and teachers, trialled, and their impact on pupils’ capacity to engage with the resources will be analysed using the Sounds of Intent framework. Modifications to the materials will be made, as required, in a cyclical research process with three phases (one per term). Beyond the research project, the resources will be made freely available online, potentially transforming access to music as art, across a range of cultures, for children and young people with severe or profound learning difficulties.

It is anticipated that the student will spend around three days a week at the University of Roehampton, (virtually or in person) and two days a week as a member of Live Music Now’s national team.

Applicants should have a 2:1 or above at bachelor’s level or equivalent and distinction at master’s level, both in a music or music-related field. Advanced music performance and analysis skills are desirable, and the capacity for critical reflection. Previous experience of working through music with disabled children or young people is desirable though not essential. We particularly welcome candidates who are under-represented in the cultural sector, including those who have experienced disabling barriers or who have experienced racism.

The successful candidate will be supervised by Professor Adam Ockelford and Professor Lorella Terzi at the University of Roehampton, and Dr Ros Hawley at Live Music Now.

Contact Professor Adam Ockelford for further information: [email protected].

Deadline for applications 4th March 2022