I am a music teacher in Devon schools, and a part-time lecturer on the MA Education programme at Plymouth University. For five years previously, I worked for Devon Music Service, setting up music projects and leading music workshops. I am fitting in my masters study in my spare time, but I find that this works very well owing to the flexible nature of the programme. I can choose tutorial times to suit my schedule and attend workshops on such themes as writing or data collection at weekends.
The most inspiring aspect of the programme is the way in which it allows one to study areas of one’s own interest, within the context of academic structures such as ‘making an argument’ or undertaking a literature review. This has allowed me to focus each module on aspects of music education – my passion. This in turn allows me to think more deeply about my own practice as a teacher and lecturer – every day I experience crossover between my work and my study, and each influences the other.
My current research interest is the way in which music teachers develop fluent musical experiences for their students and pupils, and whether there are significant differences between the practices of peripatetic instrument teachers and classroom teachers. This has necessitated interviewing nine teachers and beginning to build a picture of their practice…all very fascinating! I have learnt so much from the diverse responses and ideas that they have thrown at me, and it has been inspiring to travel around South Devon, meeting fellow practitioners and having a legitimate excuse to talk to them about the subject that we all love…what a privilege! I am now in the process of listening to these interviews and interpreting them in order to reach some conclusions for my dissertation.