This project stemmed from a need to improve understanding of the transition from school to university music and other related subjects. Students now come from a wide range of backgrounds and university staff need to understand these more comprehensively in order to manage transition more effectively. The project examined how curricula can build upon the strengths of students and how to avoid the (negative) view that it is necessary to begin an undergraduate course with essentially remedial work. It has the support of the subject centre for performing arts (PALATINE), the music subject association (NAMHE), and the Society for Music Analysis (SMA).
The main activities of the project were to
The views of various education bodies were sought. These included representatives from schools and colleges across six different local authorities, three universities, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, the Edexcel examination board and the teacher training sector. Data collection in the tertiary sector took place through classroom observations and interviews with teachers and students. Data collection in universities took place through questionnaire, and interviews with students and lecturers. 422 students were surveyed across courses at the University of Huddersfield, Liverpool Hope University and the University of Southampton. The student questionnaires focused on the areas which were key to their first experience of studying for a degree. University staff questionnaires and interviews focused on the perceived strengths and weakness of current students. University entry and exit qualifications were examined through statistical analysis.
The report concludes with a list of findings and recommendations.