Educational cultures: a comparative study of instrument tuition
This project aims to describe and understand institutional cultures of teaching and learning in higher music education (HME) with a particular focus on instrument lessons (one-to-one, group tuition and masterclasses). The international HME community is characterised by great diversity in terms of values, traditions, power relations and teaching and learning models. In the Nordic countries, many institutions advocate student-centred approaches to instrument tuition and training, while international institutions may represent and reproduce more traditional power relations between the master teacher and the student learner. This project aims help gain an understanding of such cultural differences and their strengths and weaknesses.
Research questions and methodology
The central research questions are:
- What are the central characteristics of the educational culture of instrument tuition at the Norwegian Academy of Music in terms of power relations, ownership of learning, communication and models of teaching and learning?
- In what ways is this educational culture different from international educational cultures of instrument tuition?
- How do international students and teachers describe the strengths and weaknesses of this culture, compared to its alternatives?
In order to capture cultural differences between countries and institutions, the study has been designed as a combination of peer observation (case institution teachers) and a series of interviews with international students and teachers at the case institution.
The study may contribute to an increased understanding of higher music education and the cultures, identities and power relations that serve as a basis for current teaching and learning practices. Subsequently, understanding the differences between teaching and learning cultures, including their strengths and weaknesses, may stimulate international collaboration on further development of instrument tuition in higher music performance education.
Dissemination and scholarly articles
Brøske, B. Å., Carlsen, M., Gaunt, H., Harris, J., Hatfield, J. L., Johansen, G. G., Nielsen, S. G., Slette, A. L., Sætre, J. H. (2017). Ownership of learning in specialist higher music education, symposium, Research in Music Education Conference (RIME), Bath Spa University, UK, 25. April 2017.