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Kieran Graham

I have been a teacher for over 15 years in a range of subjects including music (further education and guitar instrumental teaching). I have been a performing and composing musician for over 30 years and have played in a range of ensembles including a nine-piece indie-pop band and an Indian and symphony fusion orchestra. Last year I completed my masters’ degree in critical musicology at the University of Birmingham for which I received a distinction. My final year dissertation was concerned with the history of late-twentieth and early twenty-first-century musical subcultures and how Carribean culture has informed the performance and production practices and aesthetics of certain independent musical genres in the UK. From my research into the development of black music in the UK, I developed an understanding of how alternative epistemologies of black British cultural forms can offer important insights into the role of music as a critique of British society. Since completing my MA, I have continued my research and have developed presentations concerned with how independent British musical genres; including UK garage and grime, can help us to understand more clearly the central role of music and the arts in general within the community. I have worked, moreover, as a facilitator for music in the community with a Birmingham-based arts charity, and this has allowed me to apply my theory to practice. As a result of my recent ex! periences, I am hoping to engage with more organisations, personnel and community groups to promote the role of music as an essential, reparative and communally integrative practice. I am currently seeking opportunities to present my ideas to any groups interested in such ideas, be they professionals or members of the community.