New Understanding Of 'Relevant' Keyboard Pedagogy In Tertiary Institutions

Carey, Gemma Marian (2004) New Understanding Of 'Relevant' Keyboard Pedagogy In Tertiary Institutions. Professional Doctorate thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


In current times, issues of curriculum relevance are driving a raft of reforms and reviews in higher education. The unmet needs of students in terms of employment outcomes, particularly in the area of the performing arts are increasingly a matter of concern. For tertiary music training institutions, the need to attach greater importance to student needs has forced a more critical reappraisal of curriculum priorities. An effect of this has been ongoing contestation and debate within music institutions about the nature and purposes of music curriculum as a university offering.

This thesis examines the implications of the above by undertaking an investigation into the relevance of keyboard curriculum, as it is currently understood in one tertiary institution, a Conservatorium of Music. It examines the contestation over student needs that is apparent within the curriculum of keyboard within such an institution. The aim is to improve the institution's capacity to respond appropriately to 'student needs' by better understanding issues about curriculum relevance. This is done by investigating how needs become articulated within this particular institution and curriculum domain and by investigating the effect these needs articulations have on the practices of those who teach and those who learn within this domain.

The study uses the conceptual work of Nancy Fraser (1989) and Elizabeth Ellsworth (1989) and a doctoral study by Erica McWilliam (1992), to focus on needs articulations or needs talk that is related to the needs of keyboard students within this Conservatorium. This talk, which is generated in management, staff and student texts, is examined as produced out of systems of language use that are employed within and outside the Conservatorium.

The analysis of the talk treats the contestations and struggle over student needs in the Conservatorium as products of, and productive of, power relations. The analysis reveals discourse communities that are not only fractured from within but which share very little common language. It demonstrates how systems of language use at work within the Conservatorium marginalise students at the same time as they permit the institution to continue its traditional work and practice. The study clearly demonstrates how the institution itself is actively producing 'failing' and 'blaming' students as discursive subjects. The conclusion is drawn that more attention needs to be paid to building shared communities that share a common discourse, rather than trying to wedge more 'relevant' material into the curriculum.

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ID Code: 15909
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Supervisor: McWilliam, Erica & Burnett, Bruce
Keywords: curriculum relevance, higher education, tertiary music, keyboard curriculum, student needs
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Department: Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Gemma Marian Carey
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:52
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:40

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