NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1003954
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0265-0517
Making Music or Gaining Grades? Assessment Practices in Tertiary Music Ensembles
Harrison, Scott D.; Lebler, Don; Carey, Gemma; Hitchcock, Matt; O'Bryan, Jessica
British Journal of Music Education, v30 n1 p27-42 Mar 2013
Participation in an ensemble is a significant aspect of tertiary music experience. Learning and assessment practices within ensembles have rarely been investigated in Australia and the perceptions of staff and students as to how they learn and are assessed within ensembles remain largely unexplored. This paper reports on part of a larger project that investigated learning and assessment practices within ensembles at an Australian Conservatorium of Music. Ensembles contribute to approximately 25% of student work in each semester, and the assessment contributes to a final grade for the semester. Using a case study methodology, four music ensembles were studied. The data generated were coded into themes including assessment practices and processes; collaborative learning practices; the development of the professional musician; and communication and transparency between participants and the institution. Findings revealed that both staff and student participants in this study perceived ensemble participation to be valuable to the development of a professional musician, but that assessment procedures did not always support this goal. Institutional demands were found to be an inhibiting factor in the assessment of ensembles, and both students and teachers had problems with current assessment procedures, resulting in confusion and lack of transparency about how ensembles are assessed. Approaches to the development of the professional musician became a dominant discussion point and a substantial finding of the research. By examining dominant and subjugated knowledge in this domain, institutional power relations were interrogated, existing practices were challenged, and assessment practices rethought.
Cambridge University Press. 100 Brook Hill Drive, West Nyack, NY 10994-2133. Tel: 800-872-7423; Tel: 845-353-7500; Fax: 845-353-4141; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia