Event Information

Book Launch: Challenging Voices by Dr Phil Mullen

Tuesday 17 May, 5pm - 6.30pm  |  on Zoom

We are delighted to be hosting our first ever virtual book launch to mark the release of Dr Phil Mullen’s latest publication, Challenging Voices: Music Making with Children Excluded from School. The book covers Phil's extensive research in developing a successful approach to making music with young people with challenging behaviour. It also features contributions from many experts in the field including members of our own Music Leader team.

Phil and his guest speakers will introduce the book and answer your questions about this field of research. 

This is a free, online event. Please complete the sign-up form for access to the Zoom link. 

If you require BSL Interpretation, please let us know by Tuesday 10 May.


Children with challenging behaviour who get excluded from school often go on to have some of the worst life outcomes of any group in society. Often relocated into Pupil Referral Units or PRUs, few of them do well academically and when they leave school many get caught up in the criminal justice system or become homeless. Yet these young people can be very creative and frequently have a passion for music, although they often do not get the opportunity to play or get involved in music making. This book looks at these children, who they are and how they are treated by the education system. The book’s aim is to illustrate successful ways musicians work with these children, how they treat them with respect and enable them to grow as young musicians. Drawing on his decades of experience working with these young people, his PhD research and interviews with over forty educators and community musicians, the author shares a very different methodology to that used in mainstream music education, a methodology that values the child more than the curriculum and puts equal emphasis on musical, personal and social development.

About the Author

Phil Mullen is one of the world’s leading experts on musical inclusion. He is an Irish music educator and community musician based in England. Phil has worked for thirty-five years developing music with people who are socially excluded. He specializes in working with excluded children and young people at risk. Phil has run training workshops and seminars in twenty-seven countries across Europe, North and South America, Australia and Asia. Phil has been inclusion advisor to the UK’s national Sing Up programme and works with music organizations and schools around inclusion training and strategic development on inclusion. Phil has worked with over 40 Music Education Hubs on inclusion. Phil has a PhD from Winchester University on music making with young people with challenging behaviour and has written a number of book chapters on musical inclusion.


0121 446 3222    |     jen.loffman@macbirmingham.co.uk    |    @macmakesmusic