The School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture has appointed senior lecturer Pauline Black as its first female Head of Music, for a term of three years. Pauline has been with the University since 2012, and has been the Undergraduate Programme Coordinator for the Bachelor in Music Education degree for much of that time.
She 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. She has over twenty years teaching experience in secondary schools and prior to taking up this University post she was Faculty Head at Harlaw Academy in Aberdeen City and music network co-ordinator for Aberdeen City schools. Pauline continues to spend one day per week on freelance music education projects in schools and community contexts. She is also pursuing a PhD, exploring learning in jazz and improvisation, at the University of Edinburgh.
Pauline’s extensive external connections will be of great value to the department and in particular, the students. She is a Committee Member of the Scottish Association for Music Education, a Council Member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, a Board Member of Sound New Music Incubator, Co-Chair of the Jazz in Education Initiative, a Visiting Assessor (Performance) for the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and serves as an External Examiner for the Institute of Education, London and the University of Sunderland, as well as being a nominator for the Scottish Album of the Year Award.
Pauline is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Higher Education Academy. She enjoys performing in a range of ensembles and genres, particularly on trumpet.
Pauline is the first female Head of Music in the history of the department. During the past year, she was involved in the recently established Decolonising the Curriculum Steering Group and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) departmental group. About this work, she said: “This is an area I am particularly interested in as it aligns very much with my view of exploring music, excellence, inclusion and identities and what these key terms mean to different communities, themes I explore in my teaching.”
About her new role, she stated: “We have many different areas of expertise in music and together we are very diverse. ‘Whose music, whose voice, whose agenda?’ was the theme of a seminar I co-organised two years ago. These key questions link to EDI and would be great questions to revisit as we look ahead to curriculum reform. We need to ask ourselves what gendered, social and cultural values are embedded within our courses. I would welcome the opportunity to continue to build on the strengths of the department.”