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Community music is a growing career option, as more and more musicians opt to work outside formal settings like the concert hall and many orchestras and arts organisations seek to extend their audience base into the community.

Community music covers work in schools, prisons or hospitals, the development of music in under-resourced areas and with disadvantaged people and the development of creative partnerships between people of different skills and cultures. The vast majority of music programmes focus on musicology and instrumental/vocal excellence - this course will challenge you to build on these skills and think critically about the practical applications of music beyond the concert hall.

You'll leave with the well-honed skills needed to facilitate access to music for a diverse range of people. The course also covers project management and arts administration, management and consultancy, and combines scholarship with professional and charitable outcomes, experience that will be invaluable in any career you may wish to pursue. 

Course content

The MA Community Music is based on a series of six short course modules (20 credits each), taught in five day blocks twice per term, as well as seminars and a placement and related dissertation.

You'll cover a range of topics relating to professional issues in community music and complete a ten day placement in the community. 

In addition to these modules, we strongly encourage you to participate in department ensembles and attend weekly research seminarsperformance classes and composition seminars relevant to your studies. 

Teaching format

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

The MA is based on short course modules, a seminar series and a placement and related dissertation.

The short course modules are delivered as five-day blocks of teaching, two per term. You'll also attend weekly seminars on ‘Issues of Professional Development’ during the first two terms. These seminars carry credits but are not assessed - they are intended to enhance your knowledge in preparation for the placement and dissertation.

The placement comprises ten days contact with an outside agency by arrangement.

Facilities

We have a range of outstanding facilities, including the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall and dozens of teaching rooms and practice facilities. All spaces are designed to be flexible and are used for projects, seminars, ensemble rehearsals and recordings. Discover our facilities.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed through a combination of essays and a choice of practical work such as workshops, lesson plans, performances, compositions or business plans. You'll also produce a 10,000-12,000 word dissertation in relation to your practical placement.

Graduates of this course are highly placed in many of the UK arts institutions, with many employed at UK and overseas institutions. Others have taken advantage of the diverse portfolio of arts management and administration gained from this course, or gone on to qualify further as music therapists. You'll also be perfectly equipped to continue your studies to PhD level.

Career opportunities

  • Lecturer in Community Arts, York St John University
  • Lecturer in Education, University of Rethymnon, Crete
  • Community Outreach Officer, University of Cambridge
  • Research Associate, National Foundation for Education Research
  • Participation Producer, Southbank Centre, London
  • Education Manager, London Mozart Players
  • Music Officer, Hong Kong Government Activities and Promotion Team
  • Director, Sound Out Cork
  • Music Tutor, HM Young Offenders' Institution, Wetherby
  • Arts Development Officer, City of Durham Council

 Transferable skills

  • Time management
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Critical reflection
  • Presentation
  • Sophisticated writing skills
  • IT and technical skills
  • Communication

Visit the Community Music - MA page on the University of York website for more details!

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