Melbourne Conservatorium of Music - Research Publications

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    From Necker Cubes to Polyrhythms: Fostering a Phenomenological Attitude in Music Education
    van der Schyff, D (UNIV ALBERTA LIBRARIES, 2016-01-01)
    Phenomenology is explored as a way of helping students and educators open up to music as a creative and transformative experience. I begin by introducing a simple exercise in experimental phenomenology involving multi-stable visual phenomena that can be explored without the use of complex terminology. Here, I discuss how the “phenomenological attitude” may foster a deeper appreciation of the structure of consciousness, as well as the central role the body plays in how we experience and form understandings of the worlds we inhabit. I then explore how the phenomenological attitude may serve as a starting point for students and teachers as they begin to reflect on their involvement with music as co-investigators. Here I draw on my teaching practice as a percussion and drum kit instructor, with a special focus on multi-stable musical phenomena (e.g., African polyrhythm). To conclude, I briefly consider how the phenomenological approach might be developed beyond the practice room to examine music’s relationship to the experience of culture, imagination and “self.”
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    Back to the Future: The Proud Legacy of Melbourne's Colonial Women Comopsers
    Selleck, J (The University of Melbourne, 2017)
    Likening women’s suffrage to the decapitation of octogenarians might nowadays seem extreme, but the above quote indicates that such was the mood of the times in fin de siècle Melbourne. In a society undergoing rapid change, the Woman Question centred on women’s suffrage but penetrated every area of society. The role of the Woman Question in social, political, and literary debate is well-known, yet it also manifested strongly in the world of music. In fact, music played a crucial role in enabling the ‘New Woman’ to break the confines of the family home and the separate spheres.1 In this article, I offer some notable examples of such women musicians and address some of the reasons why their work as composers, improvisers, performers, and teachers remains unrecognised and underestimated. Arguments testifying to their profound and lasting legacy are put forward, and some suggestions made for how their work may be restored to its rightful place in history.
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    Music value and participation: An Australian case study of music provision and support in Early Childhood Education
    Barrett, MS ; Flynn, LM ; Welch, GF (SAGE Publications, 2018-12-01)
    There is a growing body of evidence that early engagement in active music-making impacts beneficially on children’s wider development. Recent research indicates that individual and shared music-making in family settings contributes to positive parenting practices and identity development in young children. Children who participate in shared music-making at age 3 are better prepared for school experiences at age 5. These findings suggest music should be a compulsory requirement in any early childhood programme. This article reports the findings of a case study investigation of the provision of music in an Australian Early Childhood Education Centre. Findings suggest that music provision is best supported when there is a high value for music amongst staff, there is a range of value-added as well as integrated uses of music, and there is sustained music professional development for all staff.
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    Self-regulation and the high school jazz and improvisation learner.
    de Bruin, L (ASME, 2017)
    Common to all musicians, and not just improvising ones is the development and adaptation of sensory-motor, audiative, imaginative and self-regulatory strategies. They develop self-regulatory behaviors of learning that involve the evolution of specific goals, strategies, self-evaluation, adjustment, reflection and monitoring of progress. Yet, whilst learning takes place in our minds, and as fascinating as neuroscience can shed light on music education, learning and teaching is negotiated within social and communicative environments. Recent cognition theories suggest that learning involves the attainment of automation, and the meshing of embodied skills and knowledge acquired through situated and experiential learning, acknowledging that from a social-cognitive perspective self-regulatory processes - learning to learn, and learning to be creative can be viewed as a set of relations that are actualized, mediated and activated through transactions among individuals, environments, and socio-cultural relations. Research on self-regulation that enhances creative processes has extended beyond the synthesizing of convergent and divergent thinking, and of teaching creatively and for creativity. Recent discourse on creativity now aligns with that of self-regulation in arguing that these principles are layered within a more complex distributed nature of learning and expression of knowledge, that identifies self-regulation, co-regulation and socially shared regulation of learning. Creativity scholars such as Burnard, Glaveneau and Sarath similarly articulate a ‘WE’ paradigm of emergent processes that evoke multiple creativities that mark a conspicuous and striking aspect of thinking, learning and self-regulation that enhances creativity in music-making.
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    STEAM Education: Fostering creativity in and beyond secondary schools
    de Bruin, L ; Harris, A (Art Education Australia, 2017)
    Current educational policy is dominated by a discourse of transferability, scalability and innovation, within a climate politicised by ‘creative industries’ and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education in Australia. STEM has been promoted as an authentic and engaging approach to education, particularly as Australia tries to boost its performance in international testing. However, STEM has consistently been challenged by STEAM, where ‘arts and design’ represent the ‘A’. STEAM advocates for creativity and expression to be included as a core part of any interdisciplinary approach. There is no defensible reason why the ‘A’ of arts should not be included in domain interconnectedness and the development of critical and creative thinking skills’ preparation of students for the global economy. Assessing the ‘state of play’ involving STEM and STEAM in Australia, this paper considers the widespread adoption of STEM in education, and its missed opportunity for integrating arts skills and capacities into the creativity agenda. Harris (2016) has argued in favour of a more ‘ecological’ whole-school approach to fostering creativity that promotes not only creative approaches to STEM subjects, but importantly arts subjects as well, including environmental, partnership and professional development components. The Harris Creativity Index is reviewed, and salient creative skills and capacities posited which allows teachers to implement pedagogical procedures that can improve creativity within schools through more whole-school transdisciplinary STEAM approaches.
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    Creative Formats, Creative Futures
    Harris, A ; Davis, S ; Snepvangers, K ; de Bruin, L (University of California Press, 2017-06-01)
    As creative economies and industries continue to impact emerging markets and cultural conversations, creative education seems no more central to these conversations than it was a decade ago. Two recent Creativity Summits marked a collaborative milestone in the global conversation about creative teaching, learning, ecologies, and partnerships, signaling a turn from nation-based approaches to more globally-networked ones. This essay and the summits offer not only an international and interdisciplinary survey of the “state of play” in creativity education, but also collaboratively-generated strategies for strengthening creative research in tertiary education contexts, teacher education, cross-sectoral partnerships, and policy directions internationally.
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    Apprenticing for Creativity in the Improvisation Lesson: A Qualitative Enquiry
    de Bruin, LR (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2018-01-01)
    Effective teacher-student learning relationships can propel students to advanced ways of knowing and acting. In much arts based higher education learning, dynamic and fluid interplay of cognitive, meta-cognitive and aspirational aims and goals are prevalent and passed to students in a learning relationship that can be described as a cognitive apprenticeship. Interpretative phenomenological analysis is used to explore four conservatoire teachers and their musical improvisation students. Investigating in the lesson experiences reveal pedagogical applications of modeling, scaffolding, coaching, reflection and developing mastery and expertise in students. A cognitive apprenticeship model can provide a framework for teachers to understand how to develop increased student control, ownership of learning, and contextually situated instructional strategies that brings cognitive and creative thinking, action and reflection to the forefront of learning and teaching. The study reveals how educators can develop trajectories of learning and problem-solving concepts that draw students into a culture of expert practice.
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    Creativity in Education
    Harris, A ; de Bruin, L (Oxford University Press, 2018)
    Creativity is an essential aspect of teaching and learning that is influencing worldwide educational policy and teacher practice, and is shaping the possibilities of 21st-century learners. The way creativity is understood, nurtured, and linked with real-world problems for emerging workforces is significantly changing the ways contemporary scholars and educators are now approaching creativity in schools. Creativity discourses commonly attend to creative ability, influence, and assessment along three broad themes: the physical environment, pedagogical practices and learner traits, and the role of partnerships in and beyond the school. This overview of research on creativity education explores recent scholarship examining environments, practices, and organizational structures that both facilitate and impede creativity. Reviewing global trends pertaining to creativity research in this second decade of the 21st century, this article stresses for practicing and preservice teachers, schools, and policy makers the need to educationally innovate within experiential dimensions, priorities, possibilities, and new kinds of partnerships in creativity education.