In Harmony Liverpool to be focus of international research network

In Harmony Liverpool will be at the centre of an international research network that will study the impact of social and music education programmes. The Institute of Cultural Capital, a strategic collaboration between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, has received a research network grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council

It will enable the Institute to bring together an international community of academic and practice-based researchers to debate the impact and potential long term contribution of orchestra-based projects on education, health and well-being, community development, economic development and regeneration.

Network activities will centre on In Harmony Liverpool, led by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and inspired by Venezuela’s celebrated El Sistema.  This project uses music, in the form of the symphony orchestra to bring positive change to the lives of children and young people in West Everton, delivering benefits across the wider community. 

Liverpool Philharmonic recently published the Year 3 Independent Evaluation Report for In Harmony Liverpool, which shows the project delivering an enriching musical education with consistently positive impacts upon participating children. Indicators include improved educational attainment and school attendance, self-esteem and well-being; and increased pride and continuing enthusiasm for In Harmony Liverpool in the West Everton Community. 

The research network will explore these findings in greater depth, which in turn will inform the development and continuation of In Harmony Liverpool. 

Professor Phil Redmond, ICC Chairman commented: "We're delighted to be collaborating with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic on this important project, bringing attention and critical focus to what is being accomplished in West Everton with their In Harmony Liverpool programme. The ICC is committed to putting the Liverpool city region at the forefront of the cultural value debate - In Harmony Liverpool and associated El Sistema initiatives have a significant contribution to make to this agenda and we look forward to leading the network". 

Peter Garden, Liverpool Philharmonic’s Executive Director (Learning) added: “There is already strong evidence that In Harmony Liverpool is achieving great things in West Everton. The research network provides us with a fantastic opportunity to develop and deepen the evidence base for the role that In Harmony Liverpool and other cultural activities can play in broadening horizons, raising aspirations and supporting long term city and community regeneration. With the rapid growth of Sistema- inspired programmes throughout the world, it is important for Liverpool to play its part at the forefront of national and international developments in this area given the incredible musical and cultural heritage of our City.”

The research network will be led by LJMU’s Kerry Wilson (Principal Investigator), Head of Research at the ICC and Jude Robinson (Co-investigator), Reader in the Anthropology of Health and Illness at the University of Liverpool. The ntwork partners also include Liverpool Philharmonic, Liverpool Hope University and the Royal Northern College of Music.

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