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This is an action research partnership programme between NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) and Sage Gateshead running over two years, to explore the following question: “How can teachers and musicians work together to improve the learning of KS3 learners in science?”

We are working with four secondary schools and their feeder primary schools. We have established a research team of music specialists and STEM teachers from the participating schools, led by senior members of Sage Gateshead’s Learning and Participation team with secondary school and teacher training expertise. They have co-devised a set of delivery projects designed to draw out effective practical strategies for enriching and transforming STEM teaching with insights and approaches from music learning and participative practice.

The work is modular, enabling insights to be captured and incorporated into the programme as it progresses (working in classic action research cycles). Young people from the participating schools and Sage Gateshead’s Youth Leadership team are playing key roles as critical friends and advocates within the programme.

We intend that the results of the work will be disseminated via a substantial written report; a practical handbook; a modular CPD programme; a module for ITE designed to embed these fresh creative approaches into the practice of new STEM teachers, and one output might be a newly commissioned music theatre piece for schools.

For more information please email

MUSIC Lab website
NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts)