The National Foundation of Youth Music states that: “True inclusivity can only happen in music education if there are opportunities for all children and young people to be supported as musicians across all genres and styles, by practitioners who understand their needs and worldviews and who are equipped to help them on their individual learning journeys.
Musical Inclusion has many definitions, but a common and shared understanding is that inclusion empowers all people, from any background and of any ability, to engage with music in a meaningful and personalised way.
Inclusion involves organisations, educators and participants in creating musical experiences and pathways that are appropriate to individual needs and interests.
Inclusion is not: Exclusion, Integration or Segregation Exclusion and Segregation are easily understood as ‘non-inclusive’ but Integration is perhaps a more complex concept – Integration is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “the intermixing of people who were previously segregated” This does not necessarily result in meaningful inclusion.
Imagine a scenario where a music classroom has wheelchair access and there are varying heights of surfaces and tables available. The classroom is physically accessible, but the disabled students still sit together at a table away from other students, they do not have access to the full range of equipment and there are a limited number of adapted instruments available. They are integrated into the class but not included in the full experience, they have less agency and less choice, and to some extent are still segregated.