Teacher as an artist vs artist as a teacher: tensions between artists and teachers that affect multicultural music teaching.


Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Kanalele rightfully argued that artists in school programs work 'between the teacher and the artist, with the administrator there to give an idea of how the system is going to work'. This investigation attempts to find effective strategies utilised to educate the students from the vast literature articulated about the practice of artists working in collaboration with teachers and other discussions of music teacher identity construction. It is a well known fact that there are tensions between artists and teachers. In 2007 Roberts framed the conflict versus musicians and teacher identity as a 'never ending personal war between our musician and our teacher identities'. The author is an artist, a practising teacher and a researcher himself who has learnt music formally, informally and through enculturation. Thus he analyses the literature through his own experience in this cross curricular study in the fields of music and education having many years of experience in working in many countries, teaching and working with students and professionals from four different communities (Sri Lankan, Russian, Ukrainian and Indian) in Melbourne, and coming from a diverse cultural background. Elliot classified the emergence of the teacher as a researcher, as a form of professional development. Thus this exercise shapes the author researcher's own understandings about effective multicultural music teaching practices as a hybrid of a teacher and an artist. In this process the researcher uses a phenomenological approach filtering and analysing appropriate data through his own life experiences and professional experiences. This discipline named phenomenology, defined by Smith as 'the study of structures of experience, or consciousness' was identified as the most appropriate method to employ in this investigation. Phenomenology is a study of 'phenomena', appearances of things, or things as they appear in our experience, or the ways we experience things, thus the meanings things have in our experience. Johnson and Christensen identify as central to, 'phenomenological research study is that the researcher attempts to understand how people experience a phenomenon from the person's own perspectives'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages7
JournalMusic Education Research and Innovation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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