The creative and social renewal of classical music: examining an education programme for racial diversity in music
Self-funded PhD students only
School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature
Applications accepted all year round
The work will include:
- Designing an appropriate methodology to explore the research questions
- Gathering and analysing data
- Writing up findings, including submitting articles to appropriate journals in education, sociology, and cultural policy
- Setting up relationships with sector organisations to disseminate research findings to policy-makers, and presenting research at academic as well as non-academic conferences and events
- Liaising with the host organisation throughout the research
- Working with the first supervisor to write a proposal for further funding building on this research
In the last 5 years, there has been increased attention towards the high levels of public funding in the UK for forms of culture that are consumed and produced by those who are white and middle-class. Classical music can be seen as a quintessential example of such a pattern, where despite decades of outreach and diversity programmes, its production and consumption is still dominated by a narrow demographic.
In order to examine and address these issues of under-representation, this PhD will focus on a classical music education programme aimed at Black and minority ethnic young people in the UK, the Chineke! Foundation Junior Orchestra – which aims to bring more young people from diverse racial backgrounds into classical music, and in doing so, change classical music itself.
You’ll use mixed methods to explore in what ways and to what extent the Chineke! Junior Orchestra is enabling the diversification of classical music production in the UK. You'll also explore how young people in the Chineke! Junior Orchestra experience the identity of being a black or minority ethnic classical musician, and how the Orchestra is contributing to changing the aesthetic of classical music.
This is fantastic opportunity to undertake new, interdisciplinary research that contributes to debates between sociology and musicology around how to incorporate aesthetic questions into a social analysis.
- You must be a UK or EU resident and hold a good honours degree (2:1 or above) from a recognised higher education institution.
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
You should have completed, or be on track to complete, a master’s degree that includes a substantial component of research methods training (for example, in social research methods, sociology, education, cultural policy, or a related social science discipline). You should be able to demonstrate an understanding of partnership working with external organisations.
Applications from black and minority ethnic candidates are strongly encouraged.
How to apply
Please contact Dr Anna Bull (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting both the project code and the project title.
When you're ready to apply, you can use our online application form and select 'Education and Sociology' as the subject area. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.
Please also submit a research proposal (up to 1000 words), detailing how you would develop this project:
- What research questions would you pose?
- How would you design the project?
- What research methods would you use?
- How would you engage with/ build on existing research?
Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process. Please note, to be considered for this self-funded PhD opportunity you must quote project code EDSO4350219 when applying.