Research Award | The Music Trust

The Music Trust Award for Research into the Benefits of Music Education

 The Music Trust offers an annual award for the best research study into the benefits of music education that has been undertaken within the past two years . This award aims not only to encourage researchers to investigate topics that will highlight the benefits of music education but will also provide evidence that may be used to support the music education promotion initiatives of The Music Trust and other advocacy groups.

The Award will be decided by a panel of judges chaired by The Music Trust nominee, Prof. Gary McPherson. The other judges will be Dr Richard Letts, Director of The Music Trust, Assoc Prof Nikki Rickard, President of the Australian Music and Psychology Society, and Assoc Prof Jane Southcott, President of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education.

Applications are now invited for consideration for the 2015 Award. The procedures and conditions follow below. The deadline for applications is July 31.


Overview and Conditions of the Award

Definitions and criteria
1. This award will be made by The Music Trust for research that is judged to best explore the benefits of music in education, at any level or stage of life. The educational setting will not be restricted to formal education situations such as schools, but may encompass informal situations such as are represented in life-long learning.

2. This is an award for research into the non-musical benefits of music education. Research into the efficiency of acquisition of musical understanding and skills is not eligible per se.

3. The benefit must be to the students.

4. Possible forms of benefit. This list is illustrative and not exhaustive:

• Improved well-being and personal functioning: e.g. increased self-confidence, ability to concentrate, socialisation, empathy
• Increased expressivity, creativity
• Increased curiosity, self-initiated exploration
• Increased motivation
• Improved school attendance
• Increased social engagement (e.g collaboration with others in school or community)
• Enhanced value system (eg more inclusive, humane, ethical)
• Increased spirituality (not the same as religiosity)
• Accelerated brain development induced by music education activity
• Improved academic performance in other subjects

5. The methodological rigour of the research will be an important criterion for assessment.

6. The findings of the study should provide evidence that can be used to positively improve an area of music education or substantiate the educational benefits of the approach or issues being investigated.

7. To ensure the currency of its findings, the research study must have been completed within two years of an application being made for the award.

8. In order to ensure its relevance to the Australian and New Zealand context, the research study should: (i) focus on an identifiably Australian or New Zealand topic, and/or (ii) have utilised Australian or New Zealand subjects for the research, and/or (iii) have been undertaken by an Australian or New Zealand national or permanent resident. Note that foreign nationals are eligible to apply for the award providing that their research study fulfils one or the other of (i) and (ii) above.

9. The award will comprise a certificate and other recognition still under consideration.

10. It is planned to make an award each year although there will be no obligation to make an award if the standard of applications is not deemed to be of sufficient quality and relevance.

Application procedures
11. Candidates for the award should present a documented case as follows: (i) explain the findings of the research and how the findings promote the benefits of music in education in an exegesis of approximately 500 words—the exegesis would be best presented in the form of a media release that communicates the findings and relevance of the research in language suitable for the general public, and (ii) a copy of the research report—e.g. the research paper OR a published or unpublished article, conference paper, etc. that documents the research study. Note that the exegesis may be re-drafted to address the probable readerships for the article and the report respectively outlined below—see point 13.

12. In addition, a fully-completed application for the award must be submitted using the pro forma on the following page.

13. To showcase the research, the awardee will provide an article on the research for Music in Australia Knowledge Base website and/or the Music Trust website, and provide a report for publication in a mass media outlet such as the Conversation or other national or state newspaper or magazine.

14. The award will be judged by a panel of nationally-recognised researchers in the field of music education. The Presidents of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education and the Australian Music and Psychology Society have agreed to collaborate.

Other relevant information
15. Closing date of applications – July 31st will be closing date for applications in each year.

16. The judging of the applications will normally take place in August.

a. Public announcement of the award will be made in late September.
b. The announcement of the winner of the award will be communicated via a notice on The Music Trust website, through media releases to suitable publications and organisations, and possibly via a public presentation.


The Music Trust Award for Research into the Benefits of Music Education

Please click on this address: mtRESEARCHeducation award form

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