Informal learning in music education – an inclusive pedagogy?

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Professor Lucy Green developed an informal learning pedagogy for music education based upon five key principles. The principles stemmed from Green’s (2002) research into how popular musicians learnt in the informal realm, and were applied to music lessons in 21 secondary schools (Green, 2008). Student autonomy, choice, aural learning, haphazard learning and integration of composition, improvisation, listening and performing were advocated. Green’s research-informed pedagogy was adopted, supported, and continues to be promoted by the Musical Futures organisation on an international scale (
Inclusion was an important part of Green’s (2008) work to encourage increased student participation in musical activity. Green’s (2008: 117) approach was by ‘default accessible to a wide range of learners’, as they could decide upon their own pace and level of difficulty for their learning, through the self-governing nature of informal practices. Green looked at student inclusion relating to ability and those who were deemed disaffected in music. Although an informal learning approach can be seen as a strategy to increase inclusion in school music lessons, tension and issue has also been reported. This presentation will involve an exploration of the literature that considers the inclusivity of Green’s informal learning pedagogy and will include reflections upon my own experience and practice. The potential of informal learning across other subject areas will also be considered and discussion invited.

GREEN, L., 2002. How popular musicians learn: a way ahead for music education. Ashgate: Aldershot.
GREEN, L., 2008. Music, informal learning and the school: a new classroom pedagogy. Ashgate: Aldershot.
Period14 Jul 2022
Event titleAnnual Conference for Research in Education (ACRE)
Event typeConference
LocationOrmskirk, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational