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The relational dimension of one-to-one tuition: conservatoire vocal studies education

Collens, Paula (2015) The relational dimension of one-to-one tuition: conservatoire vocal studies education. PhD thesis, UCL Institute of Education.

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Abstract

The thesis presents a study of the ‘relationship’ between teacher and student in one-to-one tuition in UK conservatoire vocal studies education. Predominantly vocationally focused, the teaching of musicians in conservatoires is organised around the linking of one student with one principal teacher in an on-going relationship. This pedagogic model has been dominant in conservatoire education, yet has been relatively under-examined. Only recently has it become subject to external evaluation, monitoring and research (Carey et al., 2013; Gaunt, 2011). Taking an interpretative phenomenological and contextualist approach, the study comprised two strands of investigation. One strand involved in-depth case-studies of teacher-student pairs and data were gathered through video-stimulated reflective interviews. Analysis produced highly nuanced in-depth constructions of the experiential life-worlds of particular dyads. The second strand examined perspectives of individual teachers and students across a wider range of cases and institutions; data were collected through semi-structured interviews. The study found that qualities of relatedness, power relations and teacher self-reflexivity were key factors in influencing the teaching and learning experience, process and outcomes in one-to-one tuition. I argued for student autonomy and capacity to effect change as both individual and relational achievements. Troubling emotions and relational tensions were discussed as inevitable and indicative of the process of learning, however evidence of a threshold of tolerance beyond which the relationship was experienced as harmful was found. Findings suggest a need for systematic provisions in conservatoires that provide reflexive support, mediation and monitoring, to enable teachers and students to navigate the complexities of the ‘relationship’ that were identified in this pedagogic context. Inter-disciplinary in approach, this research is situated within the fields of music psychology, music higher education, dynamic psychology and relational psychoanalysis. A relational and intersubjective rendering of findings offers a unique contribution to knowledge in this empirical field.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Controlled Keywords: IPA, thematic analysis, phenomenology, intersubjectivity, relational, conservatoire, learning, one-to-one, voice, music
Subjects: Departments > Lifelong and Comparative Education
Depositing User: Mr Julian Zerfahs
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2015 14:06
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2015 14:06
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