Practice-centred research training in music: an emerging community of practice in the Conservatoire
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Research training could be considered the cradle for developing research culture in the conservatoire. Following the alignment of music schools with universities in Australia there is an increasing expectation that research degrees be available for high-level practitioners best located in tertiary music-making environment. This paper investigates the ways in which the Queensland Conservatorium at Griffith University in Australia has enabled a community of practice in the field of research training. This conservatorium has offered a Master of Music since 2000 and a Doctor of Musical Arts from 2005. Both are classified as research degrees with a major practice-centred component and a text-based component, supported by coursework in the early stages of the programs. The programs have recently undergone an extensive review the paper draws on this and data gathered from research students, graduates, academic supervisors and administrators. Using the community of practice literature as a basis, the paper reflects on three elements of the review outcomes: i) a domain of knowledge which defines a set of issues; ii) a community of people who care about this domain; and iii) the shared practices that are developing around the issues. These elements are brought together in terms of the community of practice lifecycle: potential, coalescence, maturation, stewardship, and transformation. Implications for research within the tertiary music setting are argued in terms of institutional imperatives, development of supervisor skills and the enhancement of the student experience. In particular, the paper offers insights about delivery modes (including distance, blending learning and face to face), course content, and the potential for varied practice-centred formats that prepare graduates for professional life beyond their university studies.
Proceedings of the 24th International Seminar on Research in Music Education
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