‘Letting go’: An auto-ethnography of higher degree supervision in music
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This paper examines my role as supervisor of research higher degree music students. Within this dyad, the pedagogical design has centred on conventional delivery, conceptualized in terms of the time-honoured top-down, supervisor-candidate interaction rather than exploration of a comentoring collaboration. Many doctoral candidates in music perceive this merely as an extension of the one-to-one instrumental or vocal tuition from their pre-tertiary and undergraduate learning experiences. This can serve to perpetuate over-reliance on the supervisor as master to provide the student as apprentice with technical work (researching and writing skills); repertoire (literature); and stylistic input (writing genre). Compared with undergraduate approaches, these aspects of learning may be often cobbled together in a haphazard fashion where an understanding of the overall project is somewhat fragmented. Consequently, the particular nature of pedagogy in research higher degrees in music remains under-developed and in need of reconceptualization or the development of an enlightened eye. This paper will review and explore this pedagogy, drawing on narratives presented from my perspectives as supervisor. My role is explored through an autoethnographic account of my experiences as a teacher of groups and individuals, and this is interwoven with references to the projects of candidates at various stages in their programme. In my self-study, I will consider some of my emerging themes, including confidence, project design and management, academic writing, teaching preparation and multi-exegetical formats.
International Journal of Music Education
© 2012 International Society for Music Education. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.