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Title: Musicians at the margins : a case study of the role of instrumental music teachers in a university music department
Author: Spencer, Steven John
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 2083
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 2015
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This study presents the outcomes of an exploration of the ways in which instrumental music teachers (IMTs) engaged to teach in UK university departments experience their work and interpret their role. It provides the basis for realistic steps for enriching their contribution to and relationship with the department in which they are situated. The area of activity was examined through a qualitative research approach within a single case study design that highlights the particularities and complexities of the case and of its context. It progressed through semi-structured interviews, document review, job-shadowing and a research diary that engaged participants in an iterative process aimed at generating rich descriptions of the situation and increasing the veracity of its subsequent interpretation. The findings echo the isolated location found in earlier studies of IMTs in HE (Burwell, 2005; Haddon, 2009; Purser, 2005, Young et al, 2003) but note that they did not display the secretive or isolationist tendencies previously espoused. Instead there was a narrative of neglect and exclusion by the employer that contributed to a low sense of entitlement from these employees who occupy a peripheral and static position at the margins of departmental operations. It concludes that IMTs do not form a convenient organisational sub-unit (Weick and Orton, 1990) or a community of practice (Lave and Wenger, 1991) that would respond in a uniform fashion. Instead, they experience their engagement with the university in an individual manner framed by their personal and professional environment or umwelt (Uexküll, 1985) and interpreted according to their particular interests, needs and priorities. Finally it suggests that the employing department must recognise this diversity and facilitate greater participation of its IMTs through the creation of permeable boundaries that permit but do not require involvement in curriculum design and assessment, teaching innovations and research into instrumental pedagogy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Music Instrumental Pedagogy ; Peripheral Participation ; Communities of Practice ; Organisational marginalisation ; Umwelt