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“Learning and the development of musical expertise”

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Webinar! University of Cambridge Coordinator: Dr Pamela Burnard.

Historically, those who became successful musicians were believed to possess musical ability which was inherited and could be measured. Recent conceptualisations of learning in music have rejected this approach and suggested that musical expertise is learned through engagement in a variety of musical activities including practice. Some research has suggested that the amount of focused practice undertaken alone predicts the extent of expertise developed, while there is also evidence that the quality of practice may be important. This presentation will consider the evidence, linking it to neuropsychological studies of the brain, while stressing the role of motivation and a constant striving to improve in nurturing and developing musical skills.

Susan Hallam is Professor of Education and Music Psychology at the Institute of Education, University of London. Her research interests are learning and performance in music, issues relating to music education and the wider impact of music on other skills. She has published extensively in relation to music psychology and music education including Instrumental Teaching: A Practical Guide to Better Teaching and Learning (1998), The Power of Music (2001) Music Psychology in Education (2005), and Preparing for success: a practical guide for young musicians (with Helena Gaunt) (2012. She is also co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Psychology of Music (2009) and Music Education in the 21st Century in the United Kingdom.

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

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