Music Education for the Real World?

A comparison between routes of secondary and further musical education in England.

A PhD research project conducted at Canterbury Christ Church University by Darren Taggart. 

The relationship between the music industry and the music education provision available is regarded very differently across musicians of varying backgrounds, both musically and as part of their professional and vocational experiences. I believe this research to be important because the industry is changing rapidly in favour of a self-sufficient model in which the professional is responsible for multiple sources of revenue. The relationship between academia and vocational study is discussed widely, not only regarding the music industry but many other industries that contribute to society. Although several establishments and exam boards have changed their courses and qualifications to better match the skill set a prospective professional musician would need, this appears to have achieved little in the relationship between qualifications and their standing in the industry when compared to other professions. I would like to use the research to further develop the standing that music education has within the contemporary music industry, boosting its profile while equipping the student with relevant transferable skills.

Who are the participants?
Mature music students, music graduates and industry professionals.
What are the selection criteria for participants?
Participants must have either studied music (with an academic or vocational focus), worked in the industry or both.
What will the participants be expected to do?
Be interviewed using a set of questions via questionnaire, in person or over a video/audio call.
By completing the questionnaire you are consenting to anonymised information being stored and used for the course of the research project. Further information is available on request by emailing
By registering you interest for an interview you are consenting to being contacted for the purpose of the research project, where your data will be stored for the duration and used anonymously as part of the research findings.

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