Royal College of Music awarded record-breaking research grants

The Royal College of Music (RCM) has been awarded three grants totalling almost £1m for new research projects launching in 2019/2020.

The collective grants are the highest amount of funding the RCM has received to date ahead of a new academic year.

The three newly-funded projects cover a diverse range of global issues, including the effect of migration from Nazi Europe on post-war classical music in Britain, using music to support families affected by the Zika virus in Brazil and ways in which music interventions in hospital maternity wards can support the professional development of musicians.

‘Music, Migration and Mobility: The Legacy of Migrant Musicians from Nazi-Europe in Britain’ has been awarded £900,000 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

The results of the research will include a series of open rehearsal workshops, public performances and recordings and a programme of archival research in the UK, Germany, Austria and the Isle of Man.

Lead researcher Norbert Meyn says: ‘I am hugely excited about this opportunity to work with an international and multi-disciplinary team in a project that puts the music of migrants at centre stage. I hope it will enable us to understand better the significance of migration and mobility for music and contribute to wider debates about the impact of migration on British life.’

The RCM was also awarded a £50,000 British Academy Knowledge Frontiers grant to fund collaborative research between Dr Tania Lisboa and Dr Rosie Perkins at the RCM and Dr Diana Santiago at the University of Bahia in Brazil.

‘Managing the psychological needs of families affected by the Zika virus: Exploring the impact of music as a social tool’ will investigate the role music can have in supporting mothers to bond with small children affected by the Zika virus.

Dr Tania Lisboa comments: ‘Receiving the funding for this project is particularly exciting as it marks a significant development of the RCM’s strategy to share expertise with researchers in the developing world. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to pool our collective research expertise and test the effectiveness of practical musical activities in initiating and developing bonds between parents and children affected by the Zika virus.’

Lastly, Dr Rosie Perkins has been awarded €33,000 by Dutch research funder SIA as part of a larger trans-European RAAK-PRO grant for a project examining the professional development of musicians and nurses through person-centred improvisation in hospital settings.

Dr Perkins says: ‘This project adds to the RCM’s impressive portfolio of work in arts and health, allowing our researchers and musicians to work together to discover new learning contexts and to connect with new audiences. We’re delighted to be part of the trans-European research team and to have the opportunity to further our research on music in maternity contexts’.

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