Changing Tracks is an Action Research programme funded by Youth Music’s Strategic Fund C. Find out more about Changing Tracks here.

We aim to answer the question: What is the benefit to music services as hub lead organisations of embedding inclusion into their offer? What are the challenges they face in doing this?

A central part of the programme is the National Working Group for Inclusion, where music services use action-based research projects to explore and share the challenges, enablers and benefits of music services developing inclusive models of instrumental and vocal teaching.

What is our research methodology?

This research uses a mixed methodology. In the action research projects, project managers from each music service collect anonymised demographic information on young people’s ethnicity, gender, age and special educational needs. Workshop leaders use written reports and audio recordings to capture the pupils’ feelings about learning music for analysis by tutors and each county’s project manager. These support termly triangulated discussions with schools, and local authority stakeholders to help us identify learning emerging from the project. Anonymised outcomes are shared and discussed with the National Working Group and fed back to our funder Youth Music at 6 monthly intervals to ensure that we are engaging our core target group and to help music services ensure that music tuition is accessible to and engaging all young people and families in each county.

Participants (or young people’s carers) will be offered an opportunity to provide consent here for their data to be used anonymously, or to agree to be included identifiably in film or written case studies. Agreement to provide identifiable information is not a condition of participation in the project. Participants may withdraw from the action research project at any point.

In addition to the project reports we return to Youth Music, we also develop written and filmed findings from the action research project. These will include case studies of young people’s progress to publish on this website, and also on the websites of Changing Tracks, Music Mark, Youth Music Network (an online forum to help Youth Music and delivery organisations share learning and to advocate for the value of the work) and the website of the relevant music service. Articles about the action research project may also feature in music education periodicals, magazines and other relevant 3rd party websites.

The research is being carried out within the ethical guidelines of BERA, the British Education Research Association. Project research follows the BERA requirements around the principle of informed consent for participation, anonymisation of participant identity in published articles, and safekeeping of confidential data.

Changing Tracks is a programme of peer support and learning for and with music services wanting to improve equality, diversity and inclusion. It is run by Hertfordshire Music Service and funded by Youth Music as part of the Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England. It was previously called MusicNet East. We help music services to be more inclusive by providing a peer network facilitated by Music Mark, funding for action research, support and challenge, advice and resources.

Find out more about us, or check out the other resources and blogs on this site for more help for music services. Visit the AMIE Musical Inclusion Resource Hub for more inclusion tools and guidance, blogs, videos, and case studies, to help you break down barriers to music-making.

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash