Engaging in Community Music: An Introduction, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Engaging in Community Music

An Introduction, 1st Edition

By Lee Higgins, Lee Willingham


192 pages | 30 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2017-01-26
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Engaging in Community Music: An Introduction focuses on the processes involved in designing, initiating, executing and evaluating community music practices. Designed for both undergraduate and graduate students, in community music programmes and related fields of study alike, this co-authored textbook provides explanations, case examples and ‘how-to’ activities supported by a rich research base.

The authors have also interviewed key practitioners in this distinctive field, encouraging interviewees to reflect on aspects of their work in order to illuminate best practices within their specialisations and thereby establishing a comprehensive narrative of case study illustrations.


  • a thorough exploration and description of the emerging field of community music;
  • succinctly and accessibly written, in a way in which students can relate;
  • interviews with 26 practitioners in the US, UK, Australia, Europe, Canada, Scandinavia and South Africa, where non-formal education settings with a music leader, or facilitator, have experienced success;
  • case studies from many cultural groups of all ages and abilities;
  • research on life-long learning, music in prisons, music and ritual, community music therapy, popular musics, leisure and recreation, business and marketing strategies, online communities – all components of community music.


"[T]angible developments [in community music] have fuelled a growing appetite for new and dynamic resources that both respond to and propel these international developments. Engaging in Community Music: An Introduction quenches that appetite in abundance. It promises to satisfy those readers seeking to develop new perspectives and insights, those seeking inspiration and frameworks, and above all, those looking to further their knowledge and practice in this growing field of community music."

Brydie-Leigh Bartleet, Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Griffith University, Australia

Table of Contents


1. Music and Meaning in Community Contexts

2. Negotiated Curriculum, Nonformal and Informal Learning

3. Community Music, Inclusive, Empathetic Perspectives

4. Strategic Leadership and Facilitation

5. Mindfulness, Activism and Justice

6. Wholeness and Wellbeing

7. Culture of Inquiry

8. Careers and Management

9. Ways Forward

About the Authors

Lee Higgins is the Director of the International Centre of Community Music in York St John University, UK, and is the current President of the International Society of Music Education (2016–2018).

Lee Willingham is Associate Professor in music and directs the Laurier Centre for Music in the Community at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Arts & Humanities
EDUCATION / Arts in Education
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / Instruction & Study / General