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Durham University

Music

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What is a musicologist? Dr Hambridge visits primary school in Newcastle

(5 July 2019)

Earlier this month Dr Katherine Hambridge visited St Vincent’s RC Primary School in Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne, to talk about her job as a musicologist. She enjoyed trying to explain what it is a university music historian does, with the role’s combination of teaching and research, and she also demonstrated to the children how studying the music of the past can reveal how people lived and what they believed and cared about. She showed them her latest book on nineteenth-century music theatre and the sorts of primary research materials she would use to explore this topic. The students, who ranged from 7-11 years old, were impressively attentive and asked some searching questions! 

Katherine’s visit was part of a careers afternoon for Key Stage 2 pupils, designed to broaden their horizons and raise their aspirations when they come to think about their educational and professional options (organised through Inspiring the Future : https://www.inspiringthefuture.org/). With the role of the arts in education so under threat, this was also a good opportunity to share how much the study of music has to offer young people, not just as a source of pleasure, but as a way of engaging with and understanding the world, and potentially, as a career.