Music for an Inclusive Society

Learning Objective
This course provides an introduction into the field of community music and other community arts projects in the Netherlands, as well as abroad. We will explore community arts and community music in a variety of approaches, specifically its potential to contribute to an inclusive society. The course aims to:

  • critically reflect on concepts, ideas and approaches directly related to community arts;
  • extend or develop the abilities needed to facilitate and engage in community music project

Course Content
Community music is an approach to music making that stresses active collaboration between people with different societal and cultural backgrounds. It places music back at the heart of society. Community music covers work in schools, prisons or hospitals, in immigrant working-class areas, in rural communities, in (former) war zones, refugee camps etc. Community music moves away from the concert hall as it sets up encounters between artists and non-artists in informal settings. For musicians it may provide another career opportunity as musical skills and knowledge are brought together to empower people in different societal settings. In this course we challenge students to critically reflect on the why, what and how of Community Music. Even more, we share hands-on experiences and practical tools to set-up projects within this emerging field.

Course details

teachers Ben Hekkema and guest lecturers
term September-December 2024
method of instruction Lectures, critical discussion, reflective engagement, and practical explorations will form the basis of the sessions. Students will also visit community music projects in the field.
readings Higgins, L., and Willingham, L., Engaging in Community Music: An Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2017.
  Bartlett, B., and Higgins, L., The Oxford Handbook of Community Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.
  Van der Schyff, M., and Silverman, M., ‘Music in The Community’, in: W. Forde Thompson and K.N. Olsen (eds.), The Science and Psychology of Music: From Beethoven at the Office to Beyoncé at the Gym. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2020
assessment Essay (or alternative format)
participation Optional for all master students
credits 5
related electivesIntercultural Engagements in Music Composition and Performance
  New Perspectives on Music Pedagogy
  Music on Prescription
  The Rhythms of the Night