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Nov 23

Community Music Practice: Reaching Out to Young People

November 23 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm GMT

Goldsmiths course

Community Music is a term that describes an approach to music that is both inclusive and participatory. This can operate therapeutically and educationally, but as a field has its own rich history and culture.

This workshop focuses on working with so-called “hard to reach” young people, in overcoming the challenges they face through music. As well as introducing you to this growing field, we’ll explore the contextual background and practical tools you’ll need to take into your own practice.

Community Musicians work with both young and older people who face a wide range of life challenges – using music as an effective tool to combat illness, disability, isolation, education difficulties, behavioural problems, offending and many more issues. Taking part in meaningful group activities is increasingly evidenced as a positive and productive way to overcome such challenges.

This workshop investigates how to best facilitate meaningful and effective musical experiences for so-called “hard to reach” young people. This includes those who:

  • may be struggling at school
  • have been excluded, or are in danger of exclusion
  • at risk or already offending
  • not in education, training or employment

Community Music Practice can take many forms – singing in a choir, making beats on a computer, improvising as a group, exploring technology as a means to self-expression, songwriting, soundscape work and more. Each different way of engaging with music can have personal, social and collective benefits. To gain the greatest benefit Community Music interactions need to be led by people with a range of musical, communication and other skills, as well as an understanding of the context, and the people you are working with. This workshop will enable you to develop your own skill set, as well as providing a range of activity tools that can facilitate young people who face challenging circumstances to engage in creative and meaningful music activities.

Who is this course for?

This workshop is ideal for you if you are a:

  • youth worker who would like to develop this skillset
  • music leader already practising in the field
  • music service tutor
  • music teacher
  • musician who would like to explore this field
  • teaching assistant or teacher working in Pupil Referral Unit or similar context

No formal skill level is required but to gain the most out of this workshop, we would expect you to possess a level of either formal or informal music experience.

Why study this course?

  • Take part in a range of exciting and engaging music making activities that you can take into your own practice
  • Develop your own musical leadership skills a safe and supportive environment
  • Learn about some of the challenging circumstances that young people may face, how they impact on young people and how through music we can reach out to them in positive ways
  • Learn how to plan and deliver creative music sessions to bring the maximum benefit to participants in these contexts
  • Explore how we can measure the effectiveness of musical interactions in order understand the impact, enabling sustained work.

This course is the second part in our Community Music Practice series. Prior this, we are offering Community Music Practice: Working with Disabled People and Young People with Special Educational Needs which you may wish to take.



Booking information

Disability Support

We are committed to providing reasonable teaching adjustments for students with disabilities that may impact on their learning experience. Please be advised that in order to provide an assessment and plan appropriate support we require as much notice as possible and, in some circumstances, up to 3 months. If you are planning to book, or have already booked, onto a short course please contact Goldsmiths Disability Team (disability@gold.ac.uk) at your earliest convenience.

Please note that our short courses sell-out quickly, so early booking is advisable.


If you have any questions about this course please contact stacs (@gold.ac.uk) .

For information on our upcoming short courses please sign up to our mailing list.


Richard Hoggart Building

Tutor information

Graham Dowdall


Richard Hoggart Building
Goldsmiths College
New Cross, London SE14 6NW United Kingdom
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