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Response guided workshops on musical interpretation: Developing a model for participatory instrumental teaching within higher music education
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Music, media and Theatre.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8514-5422
2020 (English)In: Proceedings of the 23rd International Seminar of the ISME Commission on the Education of the Professional Musician (CEPROM): Ethics and Inclusion in the Education of Professional Musicians / [ed] Heidi Partti, Leah Coutts, International Society for Music Education , 2020, p. 44-64Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Earlier research indicates that the conservatoire tradition still influences higher music education. In the context of Western classical music, it has been criticised for unreflected use of the master–apprentice model, e.g., emphasising imitative aspects of one-to-one tuition, favouring technical over interpretive aspects of musicianship, and lack of systematic development of students’ autonomy.

Research on group learning of Western classical music within higher music education has highlighted that although students say that group lessons are valuable, they often do not realise the inherent learning potential. Also, students need instructions for how to prepare (and actually prepare) to be able to contribute actively during lessons.

Studies of text seminars have shown that student activity, quality of response, ownership of learning, and participation on equal terms can increase through using response models. Although growing attention is given to collaborative learning within higher music education, there is a need to better understand how learning of musical interpretation could be developed using such models.

This paper aims to study how response guided workshops can be arranged to improve piano students’ learning of musical interpretation of Western classical music. During autumn 2019, five workshops were conducted with a group of four piano students from the bachelor programme at one institution within higher music education in Sweden. In the response model used, students, one week before the workshop, scanned their scores, audio recorded their performances, described where they were in their interpretational process, and included questions directing the desired response. All participants shared their written response, and students beforehand selected topics to focus on during the workshop.

The produced empirical material consists of:

  • scanned scores, audio recorded performances, and written instructions;
  • participants’ written responses;
  • transcriptions of four workshops;
  • reflective one-minute papers written at the end of each workshop; and
  • the researcher’s field notes and reflections.

The preliminary findings indicate the importance of communicative aspects and how a response model is implemented as challenging and changing established educational traditions are complicated. The students showed a limited capacity for verbalising their thoughts about musical interpretation, selecting topics to focus on during workshops, and tended to focus on details. During the study, the students’ understanding of musical interpretation seemed to increase, and they stated that such workshops should be included in the curriculum. Consequently, further developing such workshops may contribute to increasing student autonomy and responsibility, equal participation, and multivoicedness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Society for Music Education , 2020. p. 44-64
Keywords [en]
musical interpretation, higher music education, Western classical music, prepared response, workshop, peer learning
National Category
Music
Research subject
Musical Performance
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-80281OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-80281DiVA, id: diva2:1505115
Conference
23rd International Seminar of the ISME Commission on the Education of the Professional Musician (CEPROM), 29-31 July, 2020, Virtual seminar
Note

ISBN för värdpublikation: 978-1-922303-04-2

Available from: 2020-11-30 Created: 2020-11-30 Last updated: 2021-12-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Dialogue Lost? Teaching Musical Interpretation of Western Classical Music in Higher Education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dialogue Lost? Teaching Musical Interpretation of Western Classical Music in Higher Education
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to contribute to a better understanding of musical interpretation in teaching and learning Western classical music from both a teacher’s and student’s perspective within the context of piano main instrument teaching in higher music education in Sweden. The following research questions were formulated to fulfil this aim: first, how do teachers and students understand musical interpretation as educational content?; second, how do teachers and students understand teaching and learning of musical interpretation?; third and finally, how could verbal and musical dialogues be used for improving teaching and learning of musical interpretation?

The thesis employs an overarching hermeneutical framework and consists of three movements. Multiple forms of empirical material were created and collected to understand the complex phenomenon: semi-structured interviews (with and without stimulus) with teachers, students, and master class teacher; video and audio recordings of master class lessons and workshops; annotated scores; audio-recorded student performances and written instructions, written responses, and reflective one-minute papers. The empirical material was hermeneutically analysed and presented using poetical condensations, haiku formed poems, (auto)ethnodrama, and collaboratively negotiated student narratives.

The results outline that musical interpretation is neither verbalised nor negotiated. Furthermore, the students are held responsible for developing or already having the skills and capacities required for autonomy and a personal, authentic artistic voice, described as the desired learning outcome. That the students find their education backwards-looking and not preparing for a professional career in music could at least partly be due to the instrumental lessons being mainly devoted to demonstration and imitation without argumentative support. Moreover, as the teachers’ capacity to verbalise and engage in dialogical practices seems to be situationally bound and requiring questions, the possibilities to, on an organisational level, empower students to initiate and enter such dialogues should be further studied.

The created dialogical pedagogical situations, opening for musical and verbal collaboration, helped establish a shared understanding of musical interpretation and highlighted the difference between students’ intentions and performances. These situations offered collaborative explorations of what musical interpretation is, might be, and could be. I suggest that musical interpretation, including its philosophical and ethical aspects, is lifted as a general subject at a programme level, thus securing that it is dealt with adequately, not merely relying on individual teachers. Finally, methodological considerations and suggestions for further research are put forward.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2022
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keywords
Musical interpretation, higher music education, Western classical music, teaching and learning, one-to-one tuition, hermeneutics, poetry
National Category
Music Pedagogy
Research subject
Music Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-88258 (URN)978-91-7790-991-0 (ISBN)978-91-7790-992-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2022-02-04, L165, Kunskapsallén 12, Piteå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2021-12-09 Created: 2021-12-09 Last updated: 2022-01-14Bibliographically approved

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ISME CEPROM Commission 2020 Pre-Conference Seminar (Virtual) Proceedings

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Holmgren, Carl

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