Reshape Music: A report exploring the lived experience of Disabled musicians in education and beyond sets out the significant barriers faced by Disabled musicians to access music education and music-making in the UK.
We are really excited to share the news of this new publication by our partners at Youth Music. Mary-Alice Stack, our Chief Executive at Creative United writes:
“The publication today of Youth Music’s Reshape Music report marks a significant milestone for Creative United and our Take it away Consortium partners. Written by Sarah Mawby and a group of Co-Researchers, the report takes as its starting point the ‘Make Some Noise’ survey data collected by the Take it away Consortium in 2018/19, which sought to build a picture of the barriers to participation and learning in music experienced by disabled people.
Over a period of 5 months from September 2018 to January 2019 we worked hard to gather the perspectives of disabled musicians, the parents of disabled children, music teachers and other professionals working in the music education sector as well as staff employed by retailers of musical instruments. This was the first national survey of its kind, and an important first step for the Consortium.
The survey findings, originally released in May 2019 as a statistical analysis only, were effective in establishing a baseline against which we could measure the impact of our work going forwards, as well as evidencing the gaps and shortcomings of existing provision.
18 months on, what the Reshape Music report has done so brilliantly is to bring that data alive through the involvement of a research team with lived experience of disability who have interrogated, questioned, reflected and responded to the findings, allowing us to take our understanding of the issues well beyond the baseline.
It’s rare to find a research report infused with the individual perspectives and personal experiences of the research team. And that’s what makes this report so powerful, and so valuable as a piece of essential reading for anyone involved in the music industry, whether that’s in learning and participation, retail, music production or performance.
And that goes for me too. I’m incredibly proud of the work that has been initiated by Creative United through the Take it away Consortium but, as the report shows, we still have a lot to learn – and a lot to gain – through the direct involvement of disabled people in understanding and responding to the issues around access and inclusion that we are trying to address.
Clearly, there is still a long way to go in reshaping the music sector to be fully inclusive and accessible for disabled people – but thanks to this report the pathways to making that vision a reality are clearer than ever.”
– Mary-Alice Stack, Chief Executive
To find out more about the wider Inclusive Access to Music Making (IAMM) initiative, head to the Take it Away news page.