Citation: Ansio, H., Seppälä, P., & Houni, P. (2017). Teachers’ experiences and perceptions of a community music project: Impacts on community and new ways of working. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 18(37). Retrieved from http://www.ijea.org/v18n37/.
This qualitative research discusses a Finnish community music project aimed at school pupils with disabilities. The practices of this project define community music as community-driven, goal-oriented participatory music-making with a musician as a facilitator. Instead of the effects on pupils, this research investigates the project’s impacts on school employees. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with special class teachers and special needs assistants (n = 8) to examine their experiences and perceptions of the project’s influences on their work and work environment. The project’s impacts were related to teachers’ learning of new skills, positive feelings and increased sense of community within and between the classes of pupils with special needs. The research is linked to the discussion on artist-teacher collaboration in schools, on artistic interventions at work, and on artistic initiatives in the public sector more generally.