Music Education for Integration (MEI)

The project is aimed at enhancing practitioners’ and education stakeholders’ understanding of music as a tool for integration. The target group include: primary, secondary and post-compulsory teachers, as well as teacher educators and policy makers in Scotland, e.g. Scottish Association for Music Education (SAME); and teacher educators, policy makers and representatives of national associations internationally, e.g. International Society for Music Education (ISME), with links to stakeholders from countries including Brazil and Kenya.

Why the activities are needed and how they will meet ‘real world’ problems

In my work over the last decade I have proposed to use music as an integration tool for children in Primary and Secondary education (e.g. Odena, 2010, 2014). This has been proven useful and is needed because music is a non-confrontational, non-discriminatory way of engaging people with little command of the English language. The education landscape is changing in response to globalisation. One of the biggest changes in Scotland has been linked to new patterns of migration: in 2011 there were 40,000 new arrivals, with half of them settling in the central belt. Responding to the impact of globalisation the Scottish Government is embedding concepts of inclusion in the curriculum. However, as well as policy, educators need appropriate tools and practical strategies to integrate newly arrived students. The following are some of the project’s activities:

  • Production of a Research Briefing to translate the research findings from the project ‘Using music to integrate newly arrived children’ (Chancellor’s Fund, Odena PI) into a format that is more accessible and relevant to non-academic audiences, including policy and practice communities. The briefing will include case studies and practical suggestions and will be designed by Red Empire Ltd, a firm that recently designed the ‘Full Stop’ campaign to eradicate bullying and discrimination at the university. Paper and ebook copies will be produced.
  • Launch of the Research Briefing at the ISME 32ndWorld Conference during Odena’s invited session and at a Briefing Launch Event-Round Table, 7/2016. International networks of stakeholders will be invited from the five continents, including networks with whom I have worked, for example as past Co-Chair of the ISME Research Commission.
  • Research Briefing launch and distribution at SAME 20th Annual Conference, Stirling, 9/2016.

 On completion of the above we will continue developing impact by sustaining current and developing new link

PI and Co-Is

Dr Oscar Odena - University of Glasgow, School of Education

Start and End Date

1/6/2016-31/5/2018 (no costs extension between May 2017 and May 2018)

Funder and Funding Amount

ESRC IAA £4,377.60

Related Publications

Odena, O., Summers, M., Jaap, A., & Rodríguez, A. (2016). Music for Integration Research Briefing: Exploring the Potential of Music Education for Integrating Newly Arrived Children in Schools. Glasgow: University of Glasgow Press. ISBN 978-0-8526-1948-3. Available at

Odena, O., Summers, M., Jaap, A., & Rodríguez, A. (2016). Music for Integration Research Briefing (Poster). Glasgow: University of Glasgow Press. Available at