Jump in and run with it: 22nd International Seminar of the ISME Commission on the Music in Schools and Teacher Education Commission

Pauline Ann Black, Marie-Louise Bowe (Editor), Brad Merrick (Editor)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This study examines learning related to music within a multi-disciplinary arts context in a Scottish primary school. A school Arts Award ‘Takeover’ project was implemented for one week in place of regular school activities and a creative approach to teaching and learning was central to the design of the week. University music education students, community music students and primary education students supported class teachers in the delivery of the project. Although this study is a single case it may offer insight into the experiences of teaching and share the value of learning through music and a range of other arts, as perceived by the participants. The following research questions are addressed in this paper: 1) What challenges and opportunities were the teachers faced with? 2) What is perceived as the learning?A case study design was selected for this study and after gaining informed consent from participants data were generated from a range of sources, principally focus group interviews, teacher questionnaires and observation.Evidence in this study has shown that a week of immersion in music and other arts activities and working with visiting artists (traditional music, hip-hop, jazz, percussionists, digital, as well as dance and drama) generally enhanced teacher confidence in teaching music and other arts activities and gave them a sense of confidence to take creative risks. Children, teachers and University students on the whole valued the opportunities for creative learning, autonomy and agency in their learning, which is aligned with the design principle personalisation and choice from Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence (Education Scotland, 2008), although some found the improvisatory way of working difficult, preferring to have more fixed plans in place in advance.This study may suggest that the Arts Award framework is beneficial for supporting teachers to develop creative risk taking and confidence in teaching music and arts in primary school. It suggests that working in partnership with visiting artists and University music education and community music students enhanced the learning of all parties. Initial teacher education and community music programmes may benefit from considering this model of practical experience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNYU Prague, Czech Republic 8th-12th July 2018
EditorsMarie-Louise Bowe, Brad Merrick
Place of PublicationPrague
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-6481219-7-8
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2019


  • Arts Award
  • creativity
  • partnership
  • music education
  • improvisation
  • autonomy


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