Programme: Music - PhD/MSc by Research

Start date: January 2018

Mode of study: Part time

Research title: Exploring jazz and improvisation in UK secondary schools

Pauline has extensive experience leading participatory music and multi arts projects and working as a creative practitioner in various different contexts, including in Higher Education, in schools and in a range of community contexts. Pauline is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Higher Education Academy. In September 2016 Pauline was part of the Aberdeen City team receiving a Will Michael Jazz Diploma in recognition of showing an outstanding commitment to jazz education. She is co-chair of the Jazz in Education Initiative, a board member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) and Sound New Music Incubator, as well as being a committee member of the Scottish Association for Music Education (SAME). Pauline enjoys performing in a range of ensembles and genres, particularly on trumpet.

Pauline is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Director of the BMus (Hons) Education degree and subject lead in PGDE Secondary Music at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. She teaches across a variety of courses in music education and community music. Pauline is Performance Coordinator in the department as well as Director of the University Jazz Orchestra and Band. Pauline also continues to work on freelance music education projects in schools and community contexts, including music technology projects in secondary schools and community jazz band and youth combo projects for 'Jazz at the Blue Lamp.'

Pauline is interested in informal learning, creativity, improvisation and jazz in education. 


Black, P.A., 2016. Pedagogical Change in the Scottish Secondary School Jazz Combo: Improvisation, Collaboration, Spontaneity and Risk. In International Society for Music Education (ISME): Commision on Music in Schools and Teeacher Education.

Black, P., 2017. On being and becoming a jazz musician: Perceptions of young Scottish musicians. London Review of Education15(3), pp.339-357.

Black, P.A., 2019. Improvisation as disruptive pedagogy: challenging hegemony in music education’ In 22nd International Seminar of the ISME Commission on the Music in Schools and Teacher Education Commission: MISTEC (pp. 345). International Society for Music Education.

Black, P.A., 2019. Jump in and run with it: Taking a creative risk, partnership working to enhance music and arts education. In 22nd International Seminar of the ISME Commission on the Music in Schools and Teacher Education Commission: MISTEC (pp. 109-119). International Society for Music Education.

Ansdell, G., Brøske, B.Å., Black, P. and Lee, S., 2020. Showing the way, or getting in the way? Discussing power, influence and intervention in contemporary musical-social practices. International Journal of Community Music13(2), pp.135-155.