Research-Led Outreach

RNCM Research is recognised as world-leading, and in the 2014 HEFCE Research Excellence Framework we were ranked the highest of all UK music colleges.

Recent projects which illustrate Research-led Outreach at the RNCM are the AHRC-funded PhD entitled Interactive Performance for Musicians with a Hearing Impairment, the award-winning opera Anya17, and the interactive workshop Music in the Third Age: Practice and Research.


Undertaken by Robbie Fulford, Interactive Performance for Musicians with a Hearing Impairment explored how technology can help deaf musicians perform together. It also researched the possibility of perceiving music using vibrations. The projects developed and researched vibrotactile technology that will help musicians with hearing impairments to play music together. The future aim is that the research will contribute to the development of vibrotactile technology that will enable people with hearing impairments to have better access to music and to facilitate music performance throughout their lives.

Written by Adam Gorb, Head of Composition at the RNCM, and librettist Ben Kaye, Anya17 addresses the issue of human trafficking. It has been performed in Germany, Romania and the USA as well as here the North West and has generated wide media and civil society attention. UK and international anti-trafficking campaigning groups have endorsed the opera and used it to raise awareness and help leverage their agenda to change legislation.

In November 2015, RNCM Research hosted an interactive workshop dedicated to music and the Third Age, with a particular focus on dementia.

Taking place in the Forman Lecture Theatre, Music in the Third Age: Practice and Research was a free public RNCM Engage event to raise awareness of the existing initiatives, activities, training, projects and research on music-making for, with and by the elderly, including people with dementia. Guest speakers included Professor Alistair Burns, Gill Drummond, Clare Morel and Philip Curtis.

To learn more about these projects, click on the links below.