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The impact of the research that takes place at the RCM on the wider community beyond the limits of the academic community is significant and far-reaching.
As an institution that ever since its inception in 1883 has taken seriously its mission to serve society as a whole, the RCM's research output continues to support myriad beneficiaries, ranging from the training, general education, health and wellbeing of professional and amateur musicians to the opening up of artistic innovation and musical knowledge to audiences around the world.
From web-streamed concerts and masterclasses to participatory events for schoolchildren, the RCM seeks to reach as wide an audience as possible, an objective supported by fostering partnerships and collaborations with numerous institutions and businesses.
And far from the traditional image of the solitary academic working alone in the library or laboratory, researchers at the RCM take a proactive approach to the wider impact of their work, taking advantage of the vast network of skills and connections that the RCM has developed since its beginnings, and pursuing their research collectively with other musicians.
This, coupled with the RCM’s commitment to capitalising on its cutting-edge resources, makes for an innovative and influential research culture.
For the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise, the RCM evidenced its extensive research impact by highlighting its reach not only throughout the cultural and heritage industries across the UK and internationally, but also in terms of its contribution to enhancing the wellbeing and quality of life of the general public.
The RCM was required to illustrate the scope of its research impact by presenting two contrasting case studies, which together illuminate the transformative, civic and economic value of music, and its potential as a medium for public communication, personal well-being and social good:
- Learning from the Past illustrates the RCM’s huge contribution to the theoretical and practical study of the historical performance of music and its significance for the development of the cultural life of music, focussing on the work of the RCM’s Director, Professor Colin Lawson.
- Enhancing Musicians’ Health and Wellbeing focusses on an important aspect of the work of the RCM’s Centre for Performance Science (CPS), and particularly the research led by Professor Aaron Williamon, Head of the CPS.