Break a Leg: Raising the Curtain on Performance Pedagogy

By Marita Kerin and Michael Grenfell.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Education

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper reports on an action research project designed to develop skills in musical performance pedagogy. The subjects were a group of undergraduate students enrolled in a degree course which included developing vocal and instrumental competence alongside training as music teachers. Despite this being a highly selective course and the level of musicianship high, it had been noted that students’ stagecraft was lacking. The situation was deemed unsatisfactory, as the participants would soon be working in schools where they would be expected to work with pupils in setting up musical performance. The project organised a series of lunchtime concerts staged within the university. These events were used to raise issues of performance management, both physical (space, audience, etc.) and aesthetic (musicality, etc.), and to prepare students in both group and solo contexts. Inputs were made to highlight key principles of performance. The students also kept reflective logs of their experience. A major aim of the research was to address musical principles and practice as a focus for pedagogy. The paper reports on the outcomes of the project in terms of participant experience and the theoretical framing for the study. It also outlines the principal components of performance pedagogy for development in future pedagogical contexts.

Keywords: Music Education, Performance Pedagogy, Reflective Practice

The International Journal of Arts Education, Volume 9, Issue 1, February 2015, pp.1-13. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 658.989KB).

Marita Kerin

Assistant Professor, Music Education, School of Education, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Prof. Michael Grenfell

Professor, School of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences, Trinity College, University of Dublin, College Green, Dublin, Ireland