Caring for Our Planet: A World Apart or Same Difference? A Global Music Collaboration

Pauline Black, Emily Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The impact and collective threat of climate change is of key concern to all. Music and arts education can play a role by responding to the ongoing climate crisis through the creation of artworks as activism. This paper discusses a collaborative online international music project and its potential contribution to sustainable development education.Design/methodology/approach: 10,427 miles and 11 hours apart, music education students undertook the project, working in groups with a mix of Aberdeen, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia in each group. Each student collected video footage that captured their experience of climate concerns related to their environment. Students combined and edited the footage then collaboratively composed music to accompany the footage. This research wasconceived as a collaborative self-study project undertaken by the authors as music teacher educators.Findings: The results show a range of musical and extra musical outcomes and challenges. Evidence suggests that a collaborative online international music learning experience may contribute to sustainable development education and regenerative practice more broadly.Students began to develop their practice as educators for school and community contexts embedding learning for sustainability and climate consciousness, thus enabling them to develop as active global citizens.Originality/value: This paper argues for greater attention to the affordances of digital collaborative music technology tools to facilitate creative projects as well as the need to reimagine musical experience, drawing together strands of music, sustainability education, technology and global citizenship. This paper also argues for the importance of embedding the Sustainable Development Goals in teaching and learning in Higher Education.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Higher Education
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2024


  • music
  • composing
  • music education
  • collaboration
  • SDGs
  • climate
  • Sustainability
  • global
  • regenerative practice
  • teacher education
  • Higher Education


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