Grieg Research School in Interdisciplinary Music Studies
Music4Change International Research School & Mentorship Hub 2023

Breaking the sound barrier? Diversity, inclusion and equity in musical life

We are delighted to announce the first Music4Change International Research School which will run from 19-21 June 2023. The event is organized by the Grieg Research School in Interdisciplinary Music Studies in collaboration with the Music4Change project.

Waves - Music4Change

Main content

Music4Change aims to make sustainability a core element in music research and education. The first of three annual International Research Schools will explore how equality, equity, and social justice are the foundation of sustainable cities and communities, and the ways musical systems and institutions must evolve to achieve such goals.

Reducing inequalities is the foundation of a stable and sustainable society. The dominant narrative that music is a positive force capable of bringing people together, improving health and well-being, and creating social cohesion exists alongside the fact that music cultures continue to be shaped by historically dominant communities, institutions, and perspectives that exclude and marginalise a range of groups. This course will explore such barriers by focusing on how identities shape opportunities and experiences of music at the intersections of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socio-economic status, age, and (dis)ability. Focusing on critical approaches to participation and representation in the music sector, education and research, the work of feminist, anti-racist and LGTBQ+ activists, artists and scholars will be presented as a way of understanding past and present inequalities whilst imagining how we might build a more sustainable and equitable musical future.

The Research School invites contributions from researchers, particularly PhD candidates and early career researchers, artists, activists, music sector leaders, funders, and arts policy makers. We welcome presentations on any aspect of inclusion, diversity, and equity including but not limited to:

  • Discrimination, bias, harassment, or abuse in music practices and the music sector
  • Queer, feminist, and anti-racist work against social exclusion and promoting inclusion in music
  • The representation and (in)visibility of marginalized groups in any area of music historically or in contemporary culture
  • Accessibility and inclusion in music education and training programs
  • Critical approaches to disability in music therapy and music, health, and well-being
  • Inclusion and diversity in music research and the university sector
  • Music as a form of resistance and social change

We are committed to creating an inclusive and equitable Research School for all attendees, and encourage submissions from individuals who are members of marginalized or under-represented communities.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Ruth Jakobi  Secretary General, European Music Council
  • Dr Danae Stefanou  Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Dr Kristin McGee    University of Groningen, Netherlands
  • Dr Thomas Hilder  NTNU, Norway
  • Prof. Georgios Papadelis  Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

The course will create an interdisciplinary space that fosters critical and constructive dialogue. The format of presentations is flexible, and we invite performances, multimedia presentations, posters, panel discussions, and workshops, in addition to the usual oral presentations.


The Research School is organised as a blended learning course which will be offered as an in-person event with opportunities for synchronous and asynchronous digital participation.

There are several ways to participate in the course:

Course Theme: We welcome abstracts on the course theme of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in Musical Life from researchers from any field, and  also those outside of the academy such as musicians, activists, community workers, funders and policy makers.

Spotlight Sessions:  Ph.D candidates, at any stage of their doctoral work, and early career researchers can present their own project (regardless of theme) and receive feedback from peers and senior researchers.

Peer Mentorship HuB: The Hub is an initiative which connects PhD candidates and early career researchers working in relevant fields to exchange knowledge, build networks and develop mutually beneficial support. Those who sign up for the Hub will have the opportunity to take part in pre and post course digital meetings, as well as activities during the Research School.