The Wow Factor? A Comparative Study of the Development of Student Music Teachers' Talents in Scotland and Australia

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Abstract

For some time there has been debate about differing perspectives on musical gift and musical intelligence. One view is that musical gift is innate: that it is present in certain individuals from birth and that the task of the teacher is to develop the potential which is there. A second view is that musical gift is a complex concept which includes responses from individuals to different environments and communities (Howe and Sloboda, 1997). This then raises the possibility that musical excellence can be taught. We have already explored this idea with practising musicians (Stollery and McPhee, 2002). Our research has now expanded to include music teachers in formation, and, in this paper, we look at the influences in their musical development which have either ‘crystallised’ or ‘paralysed’ the musical talent which they possess. Our research has a comparative dimension, being carried out in Scotland and in Australia. We conclude that there are several key influences in the musical development of the individual, including home and community support, school opportunities and teaching styles and that there may be education and culture-specific elements to these influences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-117
Number of pages12
JournalEducational Philosophy and Theory
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005

Keywords

  • comparative studies
  • musical development
  • musical gift
  • teacher development

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