|dc.description.abstract||The aim of this research is to investigate how popular music production can be learned in higher education contexts, and how higher education can design and implement reputable approaches in popular music production pedagogy that bridge to modern professional practice. Music production has developed from large studio contexts and become ubiquitous within project studios following the invention of the Internet and democratisation of high quality and affordable computer-based recording technology. As a result, multi-skilled popular musicians now blur the once-standardised roles of the producer and artist, use face-to-face and online/remote collaboration, and create music in diverse technological, socio-cultural, and musical landscapes. Yet music production is often a collaborative experience, the culmination of musicians, engineers, producers, and songwriters working together through cognitive and practice-based processes. Therefore, the rationale of this thesis is based around the discovery of effective ways to educate students regarding the selection of creative practices and the design of music production cultures, and how these affect the musical output.
Aspiring music producers seek instruction in popular music production and higher education’s role in this landscape is integral. Yet the diversity that music-making now purveys adds to the complexity of pedagogical designs. As such, popular music production pedagogy needs to be considered alongside applications that bridge the pedagogical experience to the professional world and promote graduate industry integration. However, it is still very unclear as to what form effective higher education music production pedagogical frameworks should take to ensure that the expansive tacit knowledge of professionals can be articulated, and the practice of modern music production be understood by students.
This research utilised an ethnographic case study of a one-year, university-based popular music production pedagogical offering to investigate how effective pedagogy in this field may be created. The students’ and educator’s perceptions of the practice-based tutorial activity were collected through a vast array of data collection methods including surveys, video footage, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and assessment items. A qualitative thematic analysis informed key findings that were situated within domains including the usefulness of music production cultures, the instinctive and intuitive role of the educator, the necessity of bridging the tutorial experience to the professional world, and the many different ways in which students learned. In particular, the research found that effective pedagogy targets the student’s understanding of the greater practice of music production by engaging with music production from both sides of the glass. In these scenarios songwriting, performance, sound engineering, and production occurred in holistic, collaborative environments where all those involved in the music-making were present during the pedagogy.
The research concludes by recognising that the pedagogical approaches of the future need to consider the affordances of modern music producers. These frameworks should facilitate tacit learning in entrepreneurial habits, self-belief, and life skills. Subsequently, students can then be encouraged to consider themselves as professional practitioners prior to their transition to the music industry.||