Devon researchers find music inspires 'excluded' pupils

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Using music technology can inspire poor performing pupils to learn basic skills like maths and science, according to researchers in Devon.

The E-motion project was devised by scientists at the University of Plymouth and carried out at schools across Europe.

Pupils were given the chance to use computerised music technology to write and record their own material.

The researchers found that some pupils' maths scores improved by more than 10%.

The aim of the project was to tackle the school drop out rate and improve key skills so that some school leavers would be less at risk of social exclusion.

'In care'

Music teacher Ian Jumpy led music technology sessions for a group of 14 to 16 year-olds in Liverpool who were already excluded from the school system.

He said: "The lad who did best was in care and hadn't been to school for two years.

"He ended up wanting to come back to school, he really enjoyed it."

The project was run by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR) at the University of Plymouth and carried out by teams in the UK, Romania, Italy and Spain.

Project co-ordinator Eduardo Miranda said: "Electronic music was used as a way of engaging young people and introducing them to concepts which could then be used to teach other subjects such as maths and science."

Plymouth researcher Dr Alexis Kirke added: "A significant proportion of these pupils had been, or were in danger of being, excluded from mainstream education.

"The scores for maths of the Romanian pupils improved by over 10% and in the UK there was significantly improved scoring within multiple math and science-related skills areas."

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