ICMP is delighted to announce details of Understanding Musical Network Formation, a new project exploring the role of networks in helping students enjoy success.

Designed by Associate Dean Professor Louise Jackson and Access and Participation Manager Messiah Odinma, this innovative initiative will explore student experiences creating and utilising networks and how a lack of network can be a barrier for certain demographics. 

This is the first ICMP research project undertaken connected within its Access and Participation plan and the first time Student Research Associates will be employed as co-researchers.

Current student Carla Hockl will help design, implement, analyse and write up the research. 

Commenting, Professor Louise Jackson said: 

This project will challenge assumptions about how pre-higher education (HE) students access musical networks prior to entering HE, and in particular what barriers individuals may face in gaining access to those networks." 

"We are researching the experiences of independent and care experienced students and those from British Asian demographics. We know from our Access and Participation data that we have work to do on dismantling barriers to access and progression in this area."

"The Student Research Associate Carla will be essential in ensuring that we use this project to elevate the experiences of students and to reinforce how important it is to listen to and document diverse experiences. The evidence collected from this project will be used to inform work within ICMP, and also published to share more widely with the HE sector."

Messiah Odinma added: "This project will enable us to understand how our most underrepresented students form musical networks prior to their HE studies and assist us to specifically understand potential barriers to pre-HE musical network formation.

The findings from this research project will help to inform evidence-based interventions that contribute to assisting ICMP in achieving its Access and Participation objectives. 

At the heart of this project is the student's voice and this is an essential component of Access and Participation. The student research associates will play a big part in this research project and I am extremely happy to have them on board."

The project aims: 

  • To understand the way in which prospective students may be advantaged by having better musical networks prior to applying to study in HE 
  • To investigate and inform interventions that better support students from under-represented backgrounds, (both in HE and in the creative industries generally) in forming networks to encourage their trajectory into HE
  • To specifically understand any barriers that exist in pre-HE entry musical network formation to British Asian and wider groups associated with Black, Minority Ethnicity demographics, and those that are independent/care experienced.

Get to know the student researchers below and look out for updates from the project. 

Carla Hockl

Carla is studying our BA Creative Musicianship programme. She said:

This project will allow us to figure out what musical networks exist within our specific lens, what their impact is, and hopefully will lead to an environment where we can assist in fostering these networks and help encourage them in areas where they aren’t as present."

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