Room 2, Session 3 (14:00 – 15:30) [BACK TO PROGRAM]

How should we find a balance between training and education? What new approaches, methods and theories are being used in practice education? How are community development and entrepreneurial skills being embedded in practice pedagogy?

Each presenter’s video ‘paper’ can be viewed below – the video immediately below is the conference discussion

Monica Esslin-Peard (Liverpool)

This presentation considers the relationship between current practices in PGCE/Teach Direct teacher education and the wider contexts of music education in HE and the music industry. To train as a teacher might be considered as a form of praxis or learning by doing. Increasingly, aspiring music teachers are, in my recent experience, first and foremost practitioners in performance or come from the music industry. This not only affects how we consider practice – is it about instrumental and vocal skills, or about harnessing technology to be musical – or is it about practising the art of being a musician/performer/practitioner in the music business who hopes to make an impact on secondary education and create pathways into HE? I do not believe that you can ‘train’ a teacher like Pavlov’s dog! You can inspire a musician to share their experiences to become a teacher, a mentor and an enabler of pathways into HE. We have to embrace more than the established canon of Western Art Music and turn our attention to emerging technologies, sound art, ICT based creativities, music entrepreneurship and an inclusive approach to musicking which enables music students of all abilities to access pathways to develop their potential. Whilst new approaches should be underpinned by sound pedagogical approaches to teaching, learning and assessment, I argue that some of the most interesting – and possibly non-conformist – potential music teachers are struggling to integrate into school contexts where non-traditional approaches to music education are poorly understood or not welcomed. I would argue the opposite – to survive, to grow the future cohorts of musicians, music industry practitioners and community musicians, we need to radically review what we do to train to create the music educators of the future. This is vital in our part of West London where music in schools is under threat from EBacc and funding. Thus, this presentation seeks to stimulate discussion with participants in HE and the wider music community to campaign for a new approach to teacher training and music education in schools.

Laura Etemah (University of Ghana)

Women have made a trailblazing entrance into various niches of Ghana’s popular music scene since the 1970s. They entered the music industry through highlife music, which features the acoustic guitar as the primary instrument. According to studies, these women in music have come to value the importance of learning an instrument for improving musical aptitude and songwriting skill, which appears to be a prerequisite for writing hit songs – the perceived key to success in the music industry. To this end, aspiring female musicians have enrolled in various music education and training institutions in Accra to learn the acoustic guitar. However, several barriers appear to impede their learning process when compared to their male counterparts’ experiences (who play at intermediate and advanced levels), resulting in a low output of women who play the guitar on a professional level in the Accra. This ongoing research seeks to determine why there is a dearth of women who can play the acoustic guitar at an acceptable level in Accra and the Ghanaian popular music industry as a whole. This pedagogical research will use qualitative methods such as semi-structured interviews with teachers and students, focus group discussions with female bands, pedagogical experimentation with 20 guitar female students, video and audio reviews, Internet sources, published works, and observation of female band performances in Accra. The study’s preliminary findings indicate that traditional teaching methods need to be revised, reconfigured, or overhauled entirely to accommodate pedagogical methods that take into account cultural constraints and contextual ontologies that prevent women from fully grasping concepts taught and honing their skills through regular practice and performance. The findings of this study will contribute to the epistemology of popular music pedagogy, feminist philosophy, and performance, as well as help reform higher education teaching methods to a more gynocentric focus.

Wells Gordon (Virginia State University)

Cloud-Based Music Production Curriculum for Higher Education

Traditionally music industry and production studies in higher education have been taught through a hands-on vocational model. However, due to digital technologies and the covid pandemic, new production processes and business models have emerged. Recent papers have explored music production in online collaborative processes and teaching music production online with a brick-and-mortar lens. This paper examines the need for a wider adoption of decentralized work models in higher education. To better understand current structures of online work, two examples of cloud-based work will be used from the EngineEars and Arts Laureate.

Using the two examples, the paper analyzes strategies that use emerging digital communication tools and other online systems with a music production curriculum lens.