Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Research Colloquium: Music Education and Disability

Exploring ‘best practice’ in SEN/D music education

Lecture Theatre 1, School of Music

The speaker is Sarah Mawby (University of Leeds)


Abstract
‘Best practice’ is an expression which is thrown around a lot in education. But, when it comes to music education for children and young people labelled as having special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEN/D), what does it actually mean? What do people believe constitutes best practice in music education for these pupils? How do people form these opinions? How do teaching staff enact ‘best practice’ in music lessons? What positively and negatively affects ‘best practice’? When taking into account the views of disabled people, is ‘best practice’ really best practice? And what about music therapy? Where does that fit in with all of this?

My current research explores these questions. Drawing upon the experiences of teachers, Teaching Assistants, members of senior leadership teams, visiting practitioners, parents and pupils at three special schools in Yorkshire, I have been looking to build a theory of ‘best practice’ in SEN/D music education. During this colloquium, I will share some of my findings, and will encourage attendees to think critically about the way in which arts education is shaped and taught to disabled children and young people in British special schools.


Sarah Mawby holds a BMus degree in Music Performance and a MMus degree in the Applied Psychology of Music from the University of Leeds. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Leeds, and an Early Career Fellow of the Institute of Musical Research, University of London. A singer by trade, she became interested in researching music education for children and young people labelled as having special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEN/D) whilst studying abroad at The University of North Texas. In addition to her research experience, she has also worked and volunteered as a community music leader for organisations such as the National Autistic Society, the NSPCC, Age UK, KIDS, and the Lavender Hill Mob Theatre Company (an inclusive theatre company in Norfolk).

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