MAC Makes Music to Host Virtual Book Launch with Dr Phil Mullen, Expert in Inclusive Music Education

Wed 4 May 2022

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. All attendees will receive a 30% discount code towards the purchase of Phil's book courtesy of Peter Lang Group.

Please complete the sign-up form if you wish to attend. 

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

Guest Speakers include:

  • Rev Dr. June Boyce Tillman
  • Simon Glenister, Noise Solution
  • Ann Jones
  • Graham Dowdall


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.

Guest Speakers

Graham Dowdall is a community musician, lecturer, composer and performer. Since studying Music Workshop Skills at Goldsmiths under Phil Mullen in the early 90s he has worked extensively in many contexts as a community musician specialising in working with young people who face disadvantage and challenges. He is driven by the power of music to effect personal and social change. At Goldsmiths he now leads all Community Music & Arts teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels as well as maintaining an active career in face to face delivery and as a prolific performer especially using technology and percussion.

Ann Jones is a professional trainer, facilitator and performer, with over 25 years experience of working in alternate provision and pupil referral units. She is a director of In Her Shoes, providing creative music experiences to women and girls. She has worked closely with MAC Makes Music within mainstream settings, with young people at risk of exclusion, as well as on PRU provision. She is committed to enabling all participants to find their musical voice and helping other musicians work inclusively in music education.

Simon Glenister is the founder and CEO of Noise Solution, a national award-winning digital youth work organisation specialising in digital approaches to engagement, wellbeing, impact capture and analysis. He has spent the last 10 years researching, designing and testing new approaches to digital youth work and developing ways that we can tell the full 360 degree story of our participant journeys. This work draws on his MEd from Cambridge University (2018), investigating wellbeing in a digital youth work context.

The Rev Professor June Boyce-Tillman MBE is an international performer, composer, workshop leader and keynote speaker.  She is an Emerita Professor of Applied Music at Winchester University and an Extra-ordinary Professor at North West University, South Africa. She taught in London Schools for fifteen years.   Her doctoral research into children’s musical development has supported the development of improvisatory activities in classrooms around the world.  She lectures internationally and is concerned with wellbeing, spirituality and radical musical inclusion culturally and personally. She is editing the series on Music and Spirituality for the publisher Peter Lang which includes her book, Experiencing Music-Restoring the Spiritual; Music as Wellbeing, the edited collection Queering Freedom: Music, Identity and Spirituality: Perspectives from TenCountries and her autobiography Freedom Song: Faith, Abuse, Music andSpirituality: A Lived Experience.. She founded MSW – Music, Spirituality and Wellbeing – an international network sharing expertise and experience in this area. 

0121 446 3222    |    |    @macmakesmusic