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ERIC Number: EJ848157
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jul
Pages: 42
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1545-4517
Who's in the Mirror?: Issues Surrounding the Identity Construction of Music Educators
Roberts, Brian
Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, v3 n2 Jul 2004
The article presents the text of a guest lecture delivered at Richland College in Dallas, Texas, in April 2003, by Brian A. Roberts, professor of music education at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Speaking to an audience of music education students, he discusses his ongoing research of the identity construction of music educators (do they consider themselves teachers or performers, or both?), stating his intention to "display the contents of this social world" of the musical school society, and to develop a theory to account for the social action of music education students in the music schools. Roberts describes a music school as a "closed society" where operational rules are determined within that society alone, which means that many common-sense answers simply do not apply and one must look to the social rules within the particular closed society for meanings and norms. Music education students go to university and "learn" to construct an identity as a performer, which is the reason they have gained entrance to the music school in the first place. After graduation as a music teacher, one moves into a professional life in school where there is little or no socially constructed support for the "musician-performer." This can come at a big price for those music teachers who are still tied to their identity as a performer. Roberts states that every effort must be made within the schools of music and education at universities to help music students first create an identity as a teacher who, second, happens to have, and teaches on the basis of, an extraordinary and highly developed musical skill. If that can be achieved, music education students can learn to live happier lives within the music school and prepare themselves for a fully socially constructed support of their essential "educator" identity when they graduate and enter the work place. (Contains 2 notes.)
MayDay Group. Brandon University School of Music, 270 18th Street, Brandon, Manitoba R7A 6A9, Canada. Tel: 204-571-8990; Fax: 204-727-7318; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A