Research Question: In what ways can a music project build social and cultural capital?

Researcher(s): Helen Hogg, Bill Roberts & Matt Caldwell

Setting(s): Knowle West Children’s Centre

Status: Findings published

Through this project we hope that we will:
Raise the profile of Early Years music.
Become better musicians ourselves.
Be spontaneous music makers.
Use music as part of our every day practice.
See children engaging in self initiated music making.
Help parents make the connection between music and learning
Working in conjunction with Soundwaves and Bill Roberts, KWCC conducted a research project using music as a focus. KWCC is a researchful setting and before the project started we thought carefully about the process we might use and how we might
measure the impact. We know that action research is a way of bringing about self reflection and this project was no different.
“The metaphor that might best represent my image of the school is that of a construction site, or a permanent laboratory, in which children’s and teachers’ research processes are strongly intertwined and constantly evolving…Learning does not proceed in a linear way, determined and deterministic, by progressive and predictable stages but rather is constructed contemporaneous advances, standstills and ‘retreats’ that take many different directions.”
(Rinaldi 2006)
Children, practitioners and parents were all part of this ‘permanent laboratory’ and the weekly visits of Bill kept a thread of constancy, challenge and aspiration. As an outside agent, Bill was able to ‘give permission’ to the practitioners to be musicians and to ‘be’ in the moment as they made their own music and music with the children.
In the next few pages, hopefully you will see how this process worked, the data we managed to gather and the conclusions we drew.