Tessa Sawyer

Sheffield Methods Institute

Doctoral Researcher


Full contact details

Tessa Sawyer
Sheffield Methods Institute
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH

Tessa joined the SMI in 2022, her main areas of interest are arts and cultural engagement, music education and youth culture. Tessa began her music studies within the University of Sheffield's Department of Life Long Learning before moving to the Music Department to complete her undergraduate degree in 2017. She completed an MA in Music Psychology in Education in 2019. Tessa has worked with a number of local arts organisations, including project work with Create Sheffield to map arts and cultural engagement in Sheffield schools and communities. Tessa also works with the local music charity, Sheffield Music School, helping to develop the charity's project work with children and young people.

Research interests

Tessa's research interest include:

-youth voice

-community music

-childhood and youth studies

-co-production and community research

-ethnography and qualitative research

Tessa's research is in collaboration with Sheffield Music School and uses a participatory, researcher-in-residence model. The research aim is to better understand disadvantaged young people's attitudes towards, and expectations of, music learning. Tessa will work with young people and music practitioners to design the research and refine the research questions. Data collection methods will reflect Sheffield Music School's aim to deliver projects in ways which are meaningful to young people, such as lyric writing, music rehearsals and performances, music videos, or focus groups reflecting on song writing processes. This research will contribute to the music education literature which challenges an agenda of measuring socially desirable outcomes and instead strives to understand the attitudes and expectations of young people choosing to engage with music education.

Research group

PhD Supervisor:

Dr Will Mason

Prof Stephanie Pitts

Dr Mark Taylor


Sheffield Methods Institute Scholarship.