The Conservatoire Crisis: Exploring the lived experiences of underrepresented students in UK music conservatoires.
Access and participation amongst state schooled students in UK music conservatoires throughout the past years have remained at an all-time low despite major efforts to widen participation. Over the years, conservatoires have been the uneven playing field for the musical elite to seamlessly move through these spaces and extend their privilege in ways which are blocking the participation rates for students from underrepresented backgrounds. My PhD project will seek to explore and understand the lived experiences of underrepresented students who are/ have studied in a UK music conservatoire. Exploring experiences through an intersectional lens of race, class and gender, I shall use a Bourdieusian framework to make sense of the experiences from the students whilst also exploring the institutional cultures of conservatoires. In doing so, my research will contribute to problematising the access issues these institutions face and will use policy borrowing as a tool to increase participation for those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
6 – Education, Mind & Society