IncluMusic: Harmonising Education for Neurodiverse Music Students

In a harmonious collaboration spanning across Europe, the IncluMusic project is poised to revolutionise music education for students with special educational needs and neurodiverse traits. With partners hailing from Ireland, Romania, Italy, and Cyprus, this innovative initiative aims to create an inclusive online E-learning course tailored for tutors and administrative staff at third-level higher music educational institutions.

The driving force behind IncluMusic is the belief that every individual, regardless of their cognitive or learning differences, should have equal access to quality education in music. Recognising the diverse needs of students in higher music institutions, the project seeks to equip educators with the tools and knowledge necessary to foster an inclusive learning environment.

At its core, the IncluMusic course is designed to assist both tutors and administrative staff in effectively supporting students who may have special educational needs such as Autism, dyslexia, ADHD, dyscalculia, or dyspraxia. By providing practical tips, recommendations, and insights, the course empowers educators to adapt their teaching methods to cater to the unique learning styles and challenges of neurodivergent students.

One of the modules currently in development is centred around music therapy and music health, coordinated by the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) in Ireland and Conservatorio di Musica Alessandro Scarlatti, Palermo, Italy. This module not only explores the therapeutic benefits of music but also offers guidance on integrating a therapeutic approach into teaching and learning practices within higher music institutions. From understanding the principles of music therapy to implementing effective strategies in the classroom, this module promises to be a valuable resource for educators seeking to create inclusive and supportive learning environments.

The recent meeting in Florence marked a significant milestone for the project, as partners came together to finalise the practicalities of the E-learning platform. Discussions revolved around course timing, video content, and the integration of external readings and resources to enhance the learning experience for participants. By leveraging the expertise of educators, therapists, and researchers from diverse backgrounds, IncluMusic aims to deliver a comprehensive and engaging curriculum that addresses the multifaceted needs of neurodiverse students.

As the project progresses, the IncluMusic team is gearing up for the trial phase later this year, where the efficacy of the course will be put to the test in real-world educational settings. Through rigorous evaluation and feedback mechanisms, the project aims to refine and enhance the course content to ensure its effectiveness in supporting both educators and students.

IncluMusic represents a pioneering effort to promote inclusivity and accessibility in higher music education. By fostering a culture of understanding, acceptance, and support, the project seeks to empower educators to unlock the full potential of every student, regardless of their cognitive differences. With its collaborative spirit and unwavering dedication to inclusivity, IncluMusic is poised to make a lasting impact on the landscape of music education in Europe and beyond.