Conservatoire alumni as mentors in instrumental music teacher education: a preliminary study

Luan Shaw*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (SciVal)


    It has been argued that conservatoires in England have a responsibility to train music educators. This article proposes that alumni could have an important role to play in contributing to their former institution?s instrumental music teacher education provision and explores how two UK conservatoire graduates with at least three years teaching experience mentored students on placements in professional teaching contexts. Through online semi-structured interviews, the two alumni reflected on their own mentoring styles, the benefits and challenges of mentoring, their prior experience of being mentored on placement as former students, and the perceived benefits of reciprocal learning through mentorship. Findings suggest that alumni believe they can offer valuable insights into early instrumental teaching careers. Though long-established teachers are often chosen to be mentors, arguably, alumni are more relatable as workplace role models for current students. Furthermore, it is proposed that mentor schemes offered in conjunction with employers enable conservatoires to continue to support instrumental teacher development long after their students have graduated, since reciprocal learning processes lead mentors to reflect on their own practice, deepening their pedagogical knowledge and metacognitive awareness.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTeachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 9 May 2023


    • Conservatoire
    • instrumental teacher education
    • instrumental teacher training
    • alumni as mentors
    • mentoring in music education
    • music education workforce


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