Student and teacher perceptions of one-to-one instrumental and vocal tuition in a conservatoire
Little research has been undertaken in the area of one-to-one instrumental and vocal teaching in Higher Education. For the most part the processes and techniques involved have remained behind the closed doors of the teaching studio. This thesis reports on research undertaken by an instrumental teacher in a conservatoire, which aimed to develop understanding about the ways in which oneto- one instrumental/vocal tuition is conceptualised in higher education, and effective practices are perceived. An empirical phenomenological approach has been used to analyse students' and teachers' perceptions articulated through interviews. Findings demonstrated that teachers were conscious of the uniqueness of students' needs in learning, but did not always adapt their teaching accordingly. Whilst they were concerned to support their students, aspects of the teaching techniques which they articulated did not provide a student-oriented learning environment, and in many cases students showed little autonomy and responsibility for their own learning. They identified a trust and dependency on their teacher for guidance as a musician, often mirroring their teacher's views about the fundamental purposes and processes involved in one-to-one tuition, even though teachers' views showed considerable diversity. The one-to-one relationship between teacher and a student clearly had a huge impact on their learning, in some cases constructive, in others inhibiting. These findings suggested that, given the long tradition of one-to-one instrumental and vocal teaching at this level, extensive research needs to be done to compare the benefits of one-to-one with other learning environments, and that schemes of professional development for instrumental/vocal teachers should also be considered.