Re-Imagining Higher Popular Education

Reddington, J. 2022. Re-Imagining Higher Popular Education. Masters thesis UCL IOE

TitleRe-Imagining Higher Popular Education
TypeMasters thesis
AuthorsReddington, J.

Research Funded by Universal Music Sound Foundation

As we move further into a landscape of fragmented, decentralised and un-regulated education providers from YouTube to Tiktok, we need to question the role of Higher Popular Music Education (HPME). Popular Music as an area of study was introduced in higher education on a wave of expansion and played a pivotal role in meeting objectives in the widening participation agenda. I argue that HPME in its current form needs urgent re- imaging in order to continue to position itself as a place of forward thinking and inclusive creative education within what is now becoming an increasingly competitive higher education sector environment. Furthermore, I argue that Higher Popular Music Education has been underrepresented in both scholarly and policy-drive research and thus the student’s outcomes have remained under accounted for. Finally, I argue that the gap in communication between the contemporary field of HPME and rapidly developing music technologies and tech industries needs closing, if we are to benefit from the opportunities decentralised knowledge exchange offers us all. The research in this thesis will show that understanding the identities, processes and experiences of HPME students who are on the coal face of developing creative practice and digital cultures will play a crucial role if we are to re-imagine HPME in the future. This research aims to represent these diverse student bodies who are on the frontline of technological and societal change as they will help us better understand: gender, ethnicity, culture, identity, class and where they intersect with pedagogy, social change, technology, creative practice, widening participation, and diversity within both the music industries and HPME.

Keywordsmusic education
music technology
musical knowledge
musical identity
ethnic representation
higher education
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