Sarah Hennessy
Honorary University Fellow


Research interests

Issues relating to music education in pre-school, primary and secondary phases: specialist and non-specialist teacher education, consultancy, research into the composing process and its assessment, instrumental teaching, professional musicians in school. Research in arts education and comparative music education.

Research projects

2008-2111  Research and Evaluation of the education work of Orchestra of the Age of Emlightenment (with Dr S.Young)

2008-2009 Research of Devon Music Service Singing Communities project

2007-2008 - Research and evaluation of ABO/Youth Music Cluster Programme (Music in early years settings)with Dr S Young)

2005-2008 Research and evaluation of 3 year CPD project led by the LSO and Hackney Music Trust

2007-2008 Research and evaluation of Youth Music funded early years Music partnership project with the Association of Bristish Orchestras, Children‘s Centres and music education providers

2006-2009 meNet Project ( 3 year project to map music teacher training and music education in the school curriculum across Europe.

2007-2008 HEARTS project - one year funded project to strengthen the Arts training of primary PGCE trainees at Exeter. (part of national initiative funded by Esmee Fairbairn )

Editor of Music Education Research (

Conference Director for "Research in Music Education" (RIME)

Research grants

  • 2012 DAISI
    To develop and and carry out evaluation of a programme of developing Musical activities with children in challenging circumstance in Devon and providing training for the workforce to increase capacity and improve provision.
  • 2011 Training and Development Agency for Schools
    developing the confidence of primary tranees in music using ICT and the whole class instrumental teaching approach. based on current cohort of PGCE student at Exeter(2011-12)
  • 2008 Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
    Research project to investigate the effectiveness of the Education work of the Orchestra for the Age of Enlightenment
  • 2008 Royal Opera House
    Evaluation of the teacher training work of the Royal Opera House Education department
  • 2007 National Foundation for Youth Music
    Research and evaluation of early years music partnership project funded by Youth Music and led by the Association of Bristish Orchestras
  • 2007 Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
    Experimental study for the Higher Education Arts in Schools Project(HEARTS) to strengthen arts training for primary students in ITE
  • 2006 London Symphony Orchestra
    London Symphony Orchestra Discovery and Hackney Learning Trust- resarch and evaluation of Make Music Project , CPD for primary teachers in Hackney.
  • 2004 National Foundation for Youth Music
    Researching Transition through Music
  • 2003 National Foundation for Youth Music
    Evaluation of Kagemusha Taiko Schools project
  • 2002 National Foundation for Youth Music
    Evaluation of Singing Challenge 3 Music


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