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Luan Shaw


Facilitating the transition from student to professional through instrumental music teacher education - a case study with main reference to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

The quality of instrumental teaching (and teachers) is highly variable across England. There is no single strict quality assurance measure in place for instrumental teachers, who are at liberty to set up in private practice with no formal qualifications whatsoever. Similarly, School Teachers Pay and Conditions, recently revised by the Department for Education, permits schools and music hubs to employ ‘unqualified’ instrumental music teachers, classed as such because they do not have certified Qualified Teacher Status or QTS. Many of these teachers emerge from music degree schemes at universities and conservatoires. Given that anecdotally, the majority of conservatoire graduates prefer not to take a year out of their professional careers as performers to work towards a classroom teaching based qualification, but that significant numbers do go on to teach their instrument, it would seem that there is a need for instrumental teacher training within undergraduate music degree programmes. While conservatoires in particular train their undergraduates to a high level in the principal study discipline (instrument, voice, composition and so on) I argue that provision is somewhat patchy and insufficiently focused in relation to preparing students to work as instrumental teachers in the 21st century and that this has wider implications for the quality and longevity of music-making for future generations of young people.





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