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The conditions for learning musical interpretation in one-to-one piano tuition in 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: Nordic Research in Music Education, E-ISSN 2703-8041, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 103-131Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research has indicated that one-to-one teaching in higher music education in Western classical music typically favours technical over interpretive aspects of musicianship, and imitation of the teacher's rather than the student's explorative interpretation. The aim of the present study is to investigate students' and teachers' understandings of how musical interpretation of Western classical music is learned in this context. Semi-structured qualitative interviews with six piano students and four teachers in Sweden were conducted and hermeneutically analysed using haiku poems and poetical condensations. The analysis found that the conditions for learning musical interpretation centred upon students achieving a high level of autonomy, as affected by three key aspects of teaching and learning: (1) the student’s and the teacher's understandings of what musical interpretation is, (2) the student's experience of freedom of interpretation as acknowledged by the teacher, and (3) (expectations of) the student's explorative approach. As none of these aspects were reported as being explicitly addressed during lessons, there might be a need for both teachers and students to verbalise them more clearly to support piano students' development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cappelen Damm AS, 2020. Vol. 1, no 1, p. 103-131
Keywords [en]
musical interpretation, higher music education, one-to-one tuition, Western classical music, poetry
National Category
Music
Research subject
Musical Performance
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-81713DOI: 10.23865/nrme.v1.2635OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-81713DiVA, id: diva2:1505128
Note

Validerad;2021;Nivå 1;2021-01-13 (alebob)

Available from: 2020-11-30 Created: 2020-11-30 Last updated: 2022-12-08Bibliographically 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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Holmgren, Carl

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