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Teaching as a Career? Perspectives from Undergraduate Musicians in England
Ross Purves, Nigel A. Marshall, David J. Hargreaves and Graham Welch
Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education
No. 163, 20th ISME Research Seminar, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, July 2004 (Winter, 2005), pp. 35-42
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40311593
Page Count: 8
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Music is compulsory for all English secondary school pupils up until the age of 14. The current shortage of graduates wishing to pursue a career in secondary school music teaching is therefore a matter of serious concern. Taking the concept of "musical identity" as a basis, the Teacher Identities in Music Education (TIME) project investigated the attitudes of final-year undergraduate music students towards secondary school teaching as a career. Sixty-six final-year music students at six English colleges and universities completed a specially-designed questionnaire that explored their background, attitudes towards careers in teaching and music, and their views on important skills for musicians and music teachers. Although over half had been involved in teaching instrumental lessons, only 12% said they were considering a career in secondary school class teaching. Frequent reasons cited by participants for this decision were that their hearts were in professional performance, likely pupil disinterest and misbehavior, and that school working conditions were poor. In some cases, participants' own disappointing experiences of school music lessons informed their viewpoint. The results also suggested that the participants felt that schoolteachers' general teaching skills were more important than their subject-specific musical skills.
Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education © 2005 University of Illinois Press