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How effective are music interventions in the criminal youth justice sector? Community music making and its potential for community and social transformation: A pilot study

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Community music offers organic opportunities for both Authentic and Situation Learning, as well as Process-directed education. It is evident that in many community music projects participants are empowered to discover their own learning paths through the creative process of music-making. However, the participatory nature of community music making also seems to encourage participants to share in each other’s experiences that can often lead to an understanding of each other and themselves. The type of music workshops we were particularly interested in examining mainly consisted of group composition through the process of learning to play in a rock band (bass, keys, guitar, vocals and drums) and electronic composition using the software Logic. We were interested in trying to measure the transformative effect of participating in community music sessions on young people’s attitudes towards offending behaviour. Our preliminary results suggest that there seems to be a small but measurable improvement in the attitudes towards offending of the young people who had participated in the music workshops, especially in the perception of their life problems and how these problems could contribute to potential offending behaviour.
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Keywords: Crime-Pics II; Map of Me; Music; criminal youth justice sector; group composition; music technology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Manchester Metropolitan University

Publication date: 2013-04-01

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  • The Journal of Music, Technology and Education (JMTE) explores the issues concerning the use of technology in music education. It examines pedagogy at all levels and across genres such as composition, musicology, performance and music production. It is the only journal specifically dedicated to the educational aspects of music technology and the technological aspects of music. Peer-reviewed, with an international editorial board, JMTE aims to draw its contributions from a broad community of educators, researchers and practitioners who are working closely with new technologies in the fields of music education and music technology education.
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