Thinker. Researcher. Teacher.
Andrea Creech is a well-established Professional Academic and musician who believes in collaborative learning and in-depth practice-oriented research. Drawing from extensive research and professional musical experience, she lectures, publishes and speaks with an intellectual confidence and depth of understanding about a variety of topics concerned with musical development across the lifespan.
Dr Andrea Creech is Professor of Music at the Schulich School of Music, McGill University. She formerly held the post of Professor in Didactique Instrumentale at the Faculty of Music, Université Laval (2016-2020), where she held a Canada Research Chair in music in community (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada). Following an international orchestral and teaching career Andrea was awarded a PhD in Psychology in Education from the Institute of Education, University of London, where she subsequently worked, promoted to Reader in Education, in 2013. Andrea’s research has covered a wide range of issues in formal and informal music education contexts, including interpersonal dynamics in instrumental learning and teaching, informal learning in school music, inclusion, and music for positive youth development. Her recent research has focused on intergenerational and later-life music-making in community contexts, addressing questions relating to the social and emotional outcomes associated with music learning and participation, as well as the pedagogies and facilitation approaches that can support positive musical experience and lifelong learning. In her new role at McGill, Andrea is very excited to be researching innovative pedagogies and practices within tertiary music education. As part of this research strand, she is collaborating with international colleagues at Monash University, Australia, exploring signature pedagogies in creative collaboration. Andrea has presented at international conferences and published widely on topics concerned with musical development and lifelong learning and participation in the arts., including the Music for Life Project, funded by the UK Research Councils and winner of the Royal Society for Public Health’s award for research in Arts and Health, 2014. She is Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy and Graduate Member of the British Psychological Association. Andrea is Editor of Psychology of Music and Chair of the Scientific Committee for the International Society for Music Education World Conferences 2020 and 2022. She is co-author of Active Ageing with Music, and co-editor of Music Education in the 21st Century in the UK. Andrea's most recent book -'Contexts for Music Learning and Participation: Developing and Sustaining Musical PossibleSelves' - will be published in September 2020. She has co-edited the forthcoming Routledge International Handbook of Music Psychology in Education and the Community (in press).
CREECH, A., HALLAM, S., VARVARIGOU, M., & MCQUEEN, H. (2014).
ACTIVE AGEING WITH MUSIC: SUPPORTING WELL BEING IN THE THIRD AND FOURTH AGES. LONDON: IOE PRESS.
Active Ageing with Music explores the powerful potential for active music-making to support wellbeing among older people. Supported by strong evidence, Active Ageing with Music balances research with practice, including: • Practical issues of accessibility and resources • Potential barriers to participation – structural, intrapersonal, social – alongside case-studies of potential solutions • Supporting principles and practices for facilitating groups of older people, especially musical groups The book will be of interest to all academics and practitioners interested in music psychology, the impact of music on wellbeing, and leading musical activities with older people, as well as occupational therapists and community musicians. Most importantly, Active Ageing with Music will be of interest to people who want to preserve and sustain their cognitive, social, and emotional wellbeing throughout the latter stages of their lives.
HALLAM, S., & CREECH, A. (EDS.). (2010).
MUSIC EDUCATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM: ACHIEVEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND ASPIRATIONS. LONDON: INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION, LONDON.
Written by experts in the field of music education, the book provides an authoritative account of the current status of music education in the UK. While essential to understand the current and future context in the UK, the book will be invaluable to those involved in music education internationally, as it includes chapters on the provision of music education for all children, listening, the role of singing, playing an instrument, creativity, the role of technology, issues of performance and assessment, learning through the lifespan and the initial and ongoing education of music teachers. It also includes a range of case study examples and evaluations of practice.
CREECH, A., HALLAM, S., MCQUEEN, H., & VARVARIGOU, M. (2013).
THE POWER OF MUSIC IN THE LIVES OF OLDER ADULTS.
RESEARCH STUDIES IN MUSIC EDUCATION, 35(1), 83 - 98.
A compelling body of research demonstrates that music continues to offer powerful potential for enhancing health and well-being in old age. Active music-making has been found to provide a source of enhanced social cohesion, enjoyment, personal development, and empowerment, and to contribute to recovery from depression and maintenance of personal well-being throughout these latter stages of adult life. Within a context where life expectancy at age 65 years is rising rapidly and yet where increasing numbers of older people are reported to be living in isolation or suffering from depression, this body of research has important implications for understanding how access to active music-making may enhance the lives of older people. This article reviews a body of literature relating to specific benefits of active participation in music-making amongst older people. A case study is presented, illustrating some of the key
points from the literature. Some barriers to participation are identified and implications for older people and their carers are discussed.
CREECH, A. (2018).
COMMUNITY-SUPPORTED MUSIC-MAKING AS A CONTEXT FOR POSITIVE AND CREATIVE AGEING. IN L. HIGGINS & B.-L. BARTLEET (EDS.), OXFORD HANDBOOK OF COMMUNITY MUSIC. NEW YORK: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS.
Coinciding with the extraordinary demographic transition that has made ageing a global and highly relevant political issue, there has been increasing interest in the power of music in the lives of older people. New initiatives have been developed and researchers have investigated the relationship between music and positive ageing from a number of perspectives. In this chapter, a framework for positive ageing, comprising the dimensions of purpose, autonomy, and social affirmation, underpins my critical discussion of the role that facilitated music-making can take in mitigating the challenges of ageing. Drawing upon international evidence, I argue that active engagement in participatory music in community offers a context for creative expression and lifelong musical development, supporting cognitive, social, and emotional well-being in older age. However, commitment to positive ageing requires that participation must be inclusive of community members who are frail and in need of care. I conclude with a discussion of further ways in which community musicians could enrich the contexts that older people inhabit.
PROGRESSIVE METHODS IN POPULAR MUSIC EDUCATION SYMPOSIUM
Western University, Canada June 8-9, 2018
Critical reflections on progressive methods in music education: student and teacher experiences and perceptions
In this paper I will revisit the rationale for a conversation about diversity and inclusion in music education in the 21st century, and will raise some critical questions about the implications for practice. What are the characteristics of progressive methods, and how can these methods respond to an increasingly diverse society and pluralistic culture? Drawing principally on research carried out in the context of UK Musical Futures Champion Schools, as well as further research that focused on the relevance of the secondary school music curriculum within plural communities (where there is no one single majority ethnic group), I will consider student and teacher perceptions and experience of formal as well as informal pedagogies within secondary school contexts. I will furthermore raise some critical issues that may arise at the intersection of formal music education with music learning and participation within non-formal community contexts. Critical questions will be considered, relating to the meaning and implications of enjoyment in learning, the challenges in implementing collaborative or co-operative pedagogies, and potential tensions relating to the ideas of assessment and progression within `progressive` pedagogical frameworks.
SOCIETY FOR EDUCATION AND MUSIC PSYCHOLOGY RESEARCH RESEARCHING MUSIC - EDUCATION - TECHNOLOGY (MET2018)
26–27 March 2018, Senate House, University of London
Creative music technologies for enriching later-life
In this paper I explore the potential for creative music technologies to enrich opportunities for wellbeing and creativity in later-life. I will address the question of what may be the underpinning theoretical principles that could frame the design and use of later-life creative music technologies. There is a small but growing body of research suggesting that older people, even those with complex needs, are capable of, and interested in using music technologies. Using some examples of practice, I will highlight the multiple and significant benefits that may be derived from receptive or active creative music-making supported by a range of music technologies. Speaking from the perspective of a ͚digital immigrant͛ for whom digital music technologies represent a landscape that can feel unfamiliar and even bewildering, I nonetheless argue in favour of the crucial importance of exploiting opportunities to use creative digital technologies to support continued playful, exploratory, and joyful musical experience.
CREATIVE AGEING SYMPOSIUM
25-26 October 2017, Griffith University, Brisbane Australia
Collaborative, Creative and Critical: Musical encounters in later life
Within our global context where centenarians represent the fastest growing age group, significant challenges relating to social isolation, depression and chronic disease amongst older people have been highlighted. In response, increasing attention has been directed towards the potential for collaborative, creative opportunities to support a humanised old age. Later-life can be a period of profound creativity, where older people use creative outlets for reflection on their own unique stories, personal healing and spiritual growth. It is within creative spaces that elders can explore new ways of being, of belonging, and of becoming, and experience a continuing sense of citizenship. Adopting the theoretical lens of a salutogenic model of health, concerned with how we support positive adjustment to health changes, I will explore the pathways by which collaborative and creative musical encounters can promote sense of coherence in our later lives. I will draw on some case study examples, arguing that musical social networks, and in particular opportunities for intergenerational collaboration, may can function as a space for creative ageing, including a psychological component (e.g. empowerment, meaningfulness, identity, belonging), a behavioural component (e.g., effort, intensity, focused concentration), and positive physiological outcomes that contribute to shared emotional, relational or affirmative outcomes.
INDIVIDUUM ↔ COLLECTIVUM: NACHKLÄNGE EIN INTERDISZIPLINÄRES SYMPOSION IM RAHMEN VON „SPARKLING SCIENCE“ UNIVERSITÄT MOZARTEUM SALZBURG
9. und 20. März 2014
Facilitating creative and collaborative musical ensembles
Musical performance is an inherently social activity and musical ensembles offer a powerful context for fostering deep learning in music. Yet, the ability to negotiate and collaborate with one’s co-performers to generate musically cohesive, imaginative and convincing performances does not come easily to everyone. In this session I will explore the importance of peer interdependence in musical learning, focusing on the role of the coach or facilitator in maximising the potential for collaborative and creative music making in groups. The group dynamics, processes and properties found in ensembles of varying types and sizes will be considered within a framework comprising musical, perceptual and social skills that underpin creative music making. Case study examples will demonstrate how, in a range of musical contexts, musical coaches/facilitators might support group members in developing these skills. I will conclude by offering some points of reflection with regard to how facilitators and students might apply the key messages within their own practice.
Current projects are generously funded by the Social Sciences And Humanities Research Council of Canada, Age-Well, and the Observatoire Interdisciplinaire de Creation et de Recherche en Musique (Laval)
MAPPING THE MUSICAL LIFECOURSE
First meeting of our new international network: 19-22 September 2018, Université Laval, Québec, Canada
This expert seminar focuses on an interdisciplinary, international perspective to mapping the musical lifecourse, and highlights a deepening social responsibility amongst scholars and artists concerned with learning and participation in music across the lifecourse. International experts from the fields of Music Education, Psychology of Music, Health Humanities, Community Music, Music Therapy, and Music Performance will engage inknowledge exchange alongside future music leaders and emergent scholars.
CREATIVE LATER LIFE IN A DIGITAL AGE
Mobilizing music and creative technologies for inclusive later-life musical learning and participation, creative expression, digital literacy, and quality of life.
This cross-sector, interdisciplinary Partnership is focused on developing understandings of how Music and Creative Technologies (MaCT) can be applied in ways that will support inclusive opportunities for creative expression, lifelong learning and participation, and enhanced quality of later life. Our partnership is founded upon the idea that digital music technologies offer strong potential to: serve as a vehicle whereby older people may overcome barriers to creative musical engagement and maximize the potential for the wider benefits of music-making to enhance their quality of life; and function as a context where the generational digital divide may be mediated. Our Partnership is designed to: 1.mobilize knowledge from cross-sector, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational perspectives concerning the ways in which music technology can support a creative later life; 2.expand the opportunities for creative expression through music, amongst older people; 3.deepen the learning and engagement of older people in our digital age in ways they will find meaningful and relevant; 4.create resources that will be used by caregivers and community music leadersin their professional practice.
MOBILE LABORATORY FOR RESEARCH IN MUSIC IN COMMUNITY
Supporting infrastructure for research on creative aging with music.
The Mobile Laboratory for Research in Music in Community supports a program of research focusing on creative aging through music in community. This research investigates the sustained, protective value of creative music-making across the lifespan, using adaptive, and assistive technologies that support access to creative expression through music amongst elders, thus maximizing the potential for wide access to the psychological and physiological benefits of musical engagement.
PROMOTING QUALITY OF LIFE THROUGH CREATIVE AND COLLABORATIVE MUSIC-MAKING WITH AN ASSISTIVE DIGITAL MUSIC TECHNOLOGY
Creative music-making with assisstive digital music technology
This research explores the use of assistive music technology as a catalyst for creativity, collaboration, and enhanced quality of later-life within assisted living communities. Previous research has attributed significant social, emotional and cognitive benefits amongst senior citizens to their involvement in musical activities. However, research that addresses age-related barriers to ‘musicking’, which include the accessibility of conventional musical instruments, is limited. Our research will thus investigate systematically the use of an innovative assistive digital music technology that may mitigate such barriers, thus maximizing the potential for access to the creative, social, psychological, and physiological benefits of musical engagement in later-life. We will focus on the Soundbeam, an assistive digital music technology that uses motion sensors to translate body movements into music and sound. Soundbeam offers a stable and versatile technological platform that enables both touch and touch-free interaction in unlimited musical styles, as well as the built-in ability to record and share musical creations online, thus further promoting social connectedness. The feasibility of such technologies as tools to support creativity and quality of life amongst older people in assisted living contexts remains under-researched. Accordingly, we aim to improve the lives of Canadian seniors by: 1) engaging seniors in creative social practice through music and sound, by developing novel musical practices and artefacts using the Soundbeam; 2) fostering creative musical collaborations, learning, and play that harness the potential of an assistive music technology within later-life contexts; and 3) exploring the feasibility of the Soundbeam as a tool that can contribute to enhanced quality of later-life. Our project will therefore make an original contribution to knowledge concerning the role of technology in creative arts-based approaches to enhancing the quality of later-life.
MUSIC PERFORMANCE STRATEGIES
This course offers an enquiry-based approach to learning about the psychology of music performance. Participants will explore scientific theories, evidence and strategies relating to 'fearless performance', music performance anxiety, stress and resilience, goal orientations and practising. A strong emphasis will be placed on learning through exploration and reflection.
GRADUATE SEMINAR IN MUSIC PEDAGOGY
January to April 2021
I SUPERVISE MASTERS AND DOCTORAL STUDENT RESEARCH IN MUSIC EDUCATION, COMMUNITY MUSIC AND LIFELONG LEARNING
My students' current research topics include:
The use of music for emotional regulation among older adult learners
Co-creativity and musical development among older adult music learners
Self-regulation among tertiary music performance students
Music Performance Anxiety
The development of musical possible selves among adult learners in the community
Choral singing as a vehicle for the development of affinity among multicultural groups
Critical pedagogy in music education
Feedback practices in tertiary music performance education
Pedagogical principles and practices to support the development of expertise among adolescents learning in groups
Contexts for Music Learning and Participation:
Developing and Sustaining Musical Possible Selves