‘If you’re a teacher, you’re a failed musician’: exploring hegemony in a UK conservatoire

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    Conservatoires offer intensive musical training with an emphasis on preparation for careers in performance. In contrast, instrumental teaching is often perceived as a second-class profession or a ‘fall-back career’ (Bennett, 2012). A pilot study undertaken at a UK conservatoire enabled a group of three final-year undergraduate music students to reflect on their personal learning trajectories via a questionnaire and a focus-group discussion. Taking into account their musical backgrounds and social influences both prior to and throughout their conservatoire training, participants revealed hegemonic attitudes around teaching as a potential career path that were culturally informed, but which appeared to evolve over time. The emerging themes: aspiration/prejudice, exploration/uncertainty and transformation/passion are considered together with Bourdieu’s interrelated theoretical concepts (habitus, capital and field) forming a developmental model.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalResearch in Teacher Education
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 1 Jul 2023


    • conservatoire
    • instrumental teacher education
    • hegemony
    • music education workforce


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