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Thesis 1

Thesis Title: ‘What Next’: Exploring the Potential Long-Term and Short-Term Educational Benefits of Outreach Music Composition Projects in Irish Primary Schools
Degree Type: MA
Degree Specialism: Music Education
Supervisor(s): John O’Flynn
Thesis Status: Accepted
Date Submitted / Accepted: 2006
Institution Submitting / Submitted To: Mary Immaculate College, UL
No. of Volumes (no. of pages): 1 (127pp.)
Abstract: This dissertation explores the potential long-term and short-term educational benefits of outreach music projects, with particular reference to the composing strand of the new 1999 Irish primary music curriculum. The research is based on an Irish Chamber Orchestra project, 'Compose Yourself.' The researcher reviews current literature relating 10 outreach initiatives and comparative studies carried out in the Irish context. This theoretical framework is compared and contrasted with the research findings and important links are made. The primary method of data collection is the interview, incorporating semi-structured questionnaires, children's focus groups interview and personal interviews. The study is particularly interested in the children's perspectives and hence a multidisciplinary
approach is adopted by surveying the opinions of all participants -
children, teachers, musicians/facilitators, composer and co-ordinator. The research findings confirm that the lives of pupils are enriched by experiences of creative music workshops, working in small groups and having professional visitors in the classroom as part of outreach initiatives. It confirms support for outreach initiatives as a possible means of curriculum support in primary schools. However; main findings emerge to be the need for key success factors, specific collaborative planning, partnership and clarity of roles before, during and after outreach projects. Findings clearly illustrate the clear need for guidelines for artists and teachers working in partnership as well as the need for continued professional development of both teachers and artists and increased funding to sustain projects. The dissertation also reports on a short-term, follow-up composition project
that was carried out by the researcher in a primary school context.

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