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Gwen Moore Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick Research Showcase 2013 Musical value, ideology and unequal opportunity: backgrounds, assumptions.

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Presentation on theme: "Gwen Moore Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick Research Showcase 2013 Musical value, ideology and unequal opportunity: backgrounds, assumptions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gwen Moore Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick Research Showcase 2013 Musical value, ideology and unequal opportunity: backgrounds, assumptions and experiences of students and lecturers in Irish higher music education

2 Research Q To what extent do ideologies of musical value, knowledge and skills vis-à-vis the musical backgrounds and prior music education of students and lecturers, relate to issues of access and opportunity in higher music education?

3 Research Design

4 Background and Context

5 Access to Higher Education Rates of participation 20% in 1980 – 72% in 2010 (20% mature students) – (HEA, 2010) Lower socio-economic groups (McCoy et al., 2010) Higher music education  Unequal access and opportunity  Gap from second to higher level  Points system + Entrance tests and/or auditions

6 Up to 2002 Since 2002 B.A. B.Mus. B.Mus.Ed. B.Ed. B.A. in Jazz (Newpark) B.A. Irish Trad Music and Dance (UL) B.A. Voice and Dance (UL) B.A. Applied Music (DkIT) B.A. Music Tech (DkIT) B.A. in Commercial Modern Music (2011) (DIT) B.A. in Pop Music (2012) (CIT) Irish HME Context

7 The Paradox of Higher Education ‘Choice’ ‘...choice is the carrot with which people are duped into believing that they will have freedom to buy what higher education they like in some brave new market’ (Lynch 2006, p.3). There needs to be ‘equality of condition’ (Lynch & Moran 2006, p.221).

8 STATUTORY MUSIC EDUCATION CULTURAL & ECONOMIC CAPITAL THE HIDDEN CURRICULUM Findings

9 Statutory Music Education 12% of students surveyed attended secondary schools where music was not provided

10 Candidates for Leaving Certificate Music since ( , old course); ( , new course)

11 Senior cycle provision of Music ESRI (2011)

12 LC Content and pedagogy - Student Survey Most things you could learn off by heart – composition was like maths equations, set works, you learn four pieces off by heart and practical exam was simple. There was no actual comprehension of anything musical needed for the course. The teacher showed us what we had to learn to regurgitate on the day of the examination. No one needed to know why a tierce de picardie was used at the cadence or even what it was. It's not challenging, way too easy to predict compared to GCSE's/A-levels in UK, it's embarrassingly easy to get a B1 or A2.

13 Musical Backgrounds (Habitus) Prior Music Education (Cultural Capital) Higher Education (Field)

14 Musical habitus, cultural capital ‘My great-grandfather, my grandfather and my father were all jazz musicians actually, jazz trumpeters…so, the real education took place at home eh, and at weekends and evenings listening, always listening to records and tapes and going out gigging from a very young age...with my Dad’s band...My dad was a musician in the army band in the Gloucestershire regiment...so I used to go in and sit there from about literally from about 7 years old. So literally by osmosis I picked the stuff up…’ (Matt, Mature 4 th Year Student, Jazz Background)

15 Economic Capital...like some of my friends have violins worth thousands like €20,000 and it's ridiculous... Now mine wouldn't be that much but still... but my youngest sister, like hers would be worth more than mine I'd say...I suppose like people would kind of realise you've to kind of make the decision, do you really want to go for that? Like my mom doesn’t mind spending money on instruments and things because she knows that they’ll be used of course and that that we're serious about it... (Robyn, 1 st Year, Classical Music Background)

16 Trad - A middle class pursuit...with traditional music if say for instance you... do the whole summer circuit, well then that involves having the disposable income to go to the Willie Clancy Summer school...you know stay there for a week or for your whole family to stay there for the week...likewise for the Fleadh, likewise for the instruments you know, so there's a certain middle class thing about it. I think there’s a certain kind of barrier towards participation. I mean you can't play the concertina or the uilleann pipes unless you can afford them, and they're expensive, good ones are really expensive you know... (Dr Ian O’Brien, Bimusical Background)

17 Cultural Capital Affirming/Alienating Experiences My prior education in music has given me the opportunities to learn faster while in my course. Thanks to having a private music education I don't struggle in harmony or counterpoint. I had no idea of the jump from Leaving Cert to this. Doubt I’ll keep music up next year. My musical skills have improved vastly. It's been fun it doesn’t seem like work at all. I think having prior experience is a must, it is almost impossible to compete with students who have taken lessons and theory classes since they were young children. ‘Like a fish in water’ Bourdieu & Wacquant (1992)

18 The Hidden Curriculum Lorcan (4 th Year, Classical Music Background) ‘Well the first step is whether you get in...like you have to have a modicum of musical knowledge of the type that you are more likely to get through a classical education to get in, you know? Like people can do it through other ways as evidenced by the fact that they got in at all, but that certainly gives you a leg up and once you get in, if they see that you have this background, that you have this knowledge already, you'll be pushed harder.

19 Implications Access and opportunity in higher music education mediated by...  cultural  and economic capital  Statutory music education provision Implicit privileging of students with more relevant cultural capital (Bourdieu and Passeron, 1990) Unequal access and opportunity in HE

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