Musicians as teachers: Developing a positive view through collaborative learning partnerships

Dawn Bennett*, Andrea Stanberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Previous research with classical instrumental musicians has highlighted the intrinsic benefits of teaching in addition to the perhaps more obvious benefits of securing a regular income. Yet, despite the presence of educational activities in the portfolio of most musicians, teaching remains on the periphery of many music performance programmes in universities and conservatoria. The hierarchical inference in musicians' self-report of success as a soloist, instrumentalist or teacher is perpetuated in the separation of education and performance students during their university education. This study investigated the effects of providing a positive engagement with teaching through a unit of study delivered to a combined cohort of 2nd-year undergraduate music education, composition and performance students. The unit was designed to increase students' understanding of the realities of professional practice, and to form productive and mutually beneficial partnerships: promoting a better appreciation of career development and self-identity during the formative years of tertiary study. Students' responses were gauged with the use of surveys implemented at the commencement and conclusion of the unit. Performance and composition majors reported a positive change in their perception of the role of teaching in their careers, and music education majors reflected a growing awareness of the benefits of working in partnership with performers. The study demonstrated that positive teaching experiences during the training of musicians increases the likelihood that students will plan a positive engagement with teaching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-230
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Music Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


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