University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Arts, Culture and Education > 'MUSICAL IDENTITIES IN TRANSITION: SOLO-PIANO STUDENTS' ACCOUNTS OF ENTERING THE ACADEMY'

'MUSICAL IDENTITIES IN TRANSITION: SOLO-PIANO STUDENTS' ACCOUNTS OF ENTERING THE ACADEMY'

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ewa Illakowicz.

Contact Pam Burnard (pab61@cam.ac.uk) if you are planning to attend

In this seminar I will present work undertaken in collaboration with Sini Juuti (University of Helsinki) exploring the identity work of adult instrumental students negotiating their entry to a prestigious music academy and the professional field of music. Ten classical solo-piano students’ accounts of their musical histories and experiences were collected through research interviews. The thematic analyses I will present suggest that comparative dynamics between self and other(s) are key mediators of students’ musical identity work. I will consider how students’ identity work is resourced both by the discursive (re)contextualization and harnessing of entrance test results and accounts of their early experiences of being in the academy. The salience of key musical practices and the significance of listening, as well as being overheard practising, will also be considered. In addition, I will discuss how constructions of practice ‘norms’, ‘exceptionality’ and ‘typical’ life-courses and trajectories enter into students’ identity work.

Karen Littleton is Professor of Psychology in Education at The Open University, UK where she directs the interdisciplinary Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology. She is the editor of the International Journal of Educational Research and is the editor-in-chief for Routledge’s Psychology in Education book series. Her previous publications with include Collaborative Creativity (with Dorothy Miell, 2004) Dialogue and the Development of Children’s Thinking (with Neil Mercer, 2007) and Educational Dialogues (with Christine Howe, 2010).

This talk is part of the Arts, Culture and Education series.

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