The Apprentice to Master Journey: Exploring Tertiary Music Instrument Teachers’ Reflections on Their Experiences as Learner.
Keywords:Apprentice, instruments, lessons, master, music
AbstractMany students worldwide engage in lessons on a music instrument; the most common format for this type of learning isthe one-to-one or studio lesson where the master guides the apprentice. At the same time, the one-to-one or studio lesson is an isolated area of practice, given that it takes place behind closed doors. In addition, while the literature for classroom music teachers is substantial with regard to investigating how they describe their own previous teaching experiences or the general characteristics of effective teachers, in comparison there are few studies that explore what music instrument teachers believe are effective characteristics and attributes of their previous teachers and lessons. In order to address this problem, this exploratory article focuses on the reflections of current higher education performing arts teachers; specifically music instrument teachers and their experiences of teachers and lessons. Survey data were obtained from 171 practitioners from nine nations. The respondents were asked to reflect on their initial, pre-tertiary and tertiary lesson experiences and teachers, and to identify the most significant influences on their learning. The data reveal a number of findings, such as the dominance of the master-apprentice social and learning relationship, the characteristics and attributes of inspiring teachers and/or learning experiences, and the fact that some respondents do not have any positive reflections on some periods of their learning. The data also point towards the cyclical nature of music instrument learning and teaching, with masters guiding apprentices who then become the masters.
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