The Beyond Words project was a collaborative project between Plymouth Institute of Education and Plymouth Music Zone. It was one of only eight funded nationally in 2015 by an Arts Council England Research Grant.
The two-year project was an ethnographic study exploring how learning music helps people whose communication is non-verbal, such as those with dementia, autism and stroke, and how music workers use the unspoken in their practice. As part of the study, carers and families were interviewed, it also involved teachers, social workers and health practitioners. In addition, participants were invited to participate in visual arts workshop to express their thoughts and feelings about the music sessions.
During the life of the project, there were two dissemination events: a participative seminar (image gallery below) (27 May 2016) and a final international conference (March 2017). The participative seminar presented interim results to a cross-sectoral audience (practitioners, social workers, educator and participants’ families) and it aimed to get cross-sectoral feedback to illuminate results, explore research transferability and share effective inclusion practices across disciplines. The final international conference titled: Privileging the Unspoken in Arts Practice for a Post-human World, focused on how academics and practitioners can explore the unspoken across all the Arts, using post-human theory. The conference highlighted practical and theoretical innovations derived from the project and how they can be used across sectors. There are travel bursaries available for both events, please contact Claudia Blandon for more details.