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Overture & disclaimer

By Friday, November 1, 2013 0 No tags Permalink 0

Writing is an integral part of my practice, whether that is my teaching, practice based research or any other kind of research or performance. I have thought about blogging for a while now but never really considered making my thoughts public. In retrospect, I think my main problem with  blogging was one of genre, but there's ...

Artefacts in research

I was reminded quite recently of the auction of Rachmaninov's Second Symphony. It brought me back to thinking about the role of artefacts in my research practice. Over the past decade, I have done extensive archival research into Prokofiev as well as the music of Stravinsky, and that of Alexander Tcherepnin. I've spent countless hours looking over faded ...

Thoughts on the Reflective Conservatoire Conference

It is sadly not often enough that we get to stop and think about what, as educators and practitioners, we do on a daily basis - it is so easy to get caught up in the daily operations and delivery, but the Reflective Conservatoire Conference held at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama earlier ...

Are teachers still needed in our digital age classrooms?

By Thursday, July 31, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

How does learning happen? Are teachers still necessary in today's learning environments? Two questions crucial to learning and teaching are addressed in an article by Kirschner and van Merriënboer. The authors engage with current but established thinking about the learning journey, and implicitly, about the role of teachers on that journey. [Urban Legends in Education http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00461520.2013.804395 ...

Rules of collaboration – a few ‘big ideas’

While browsing through a book called 'Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom' (Sylvia Libow Martinez & Gary Stager), I came across a passage dealing with lessons learnt from a research project from 1999 led by Seymour Papert. He laid out his ideas in a document designed for a visitor to the ...

Prokofiev’s ‘Fiery Angel’ and modernism

By Thursday, May 22, 2014 0 , , Permalink 0

I was recently asked to deliver a paper on Prokofiev’s opera The Fiery Angel within the context of contemporary aesthetic views on modernism. I'll be exploring this topic further as I'm working on a big project focussed on the composer's operas but I thought I would put down some initial ideas here. I think Prokofiev’s relationship with ...

Prokofiev’s early manuscripts

By Tuesday, May 20, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

The music of Prokofiev’s juvenile period (although there is really nothing juvenile about it!) spans around c. 1896 - c. 1908. The works he wrote at this time can be broadly categorised into three types: works for solo piano; theatrical works; miscellaneous works. My PhD traces the composer’s development of a distinctive compositional voice using ...

Innovative Conservatoire Seminar 10: Student as Teacher, Dartington 2014

The innovative conservatoire seminar is always such an inspiring space to inhabit. Over three days key members from various European institutions gather at Dartington Hall to share practice and ideas creating a vibrant and supportive community of practice. In this positive place, fear is cast aside and experimentation is encouraged. I find that this kind of coming ...

Creativity in teaching

By Wednesday, February 26, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

How important is creativity in today’s teaching spaces? It’s a question that is gradually coming more into focus and one which is certainly worthy of our attention. As 1-1 teachers, or eve small group facilitators is this something we need to be thinking about? Perhaps because I work in an arts environment, it has always ...

Thoughts on the reflective practitioner

By Tuesday, January 28, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

In the article "Focus: Becoming a reflective practitioner", http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resources/detail/subjects/medev/Focus-_Becoming_a_reflective_practitioner the Higher Education Academy interrogates the concepts of reflection and reflective practice identifying them as  "two of the key buzzwords in professional and education practice at present". They provide their definition of reflection, in the process breaking down what they see as the "key stages in reflective practice" as ...

Postdocs – some home truths

By Monday, December 23, 2013 0 , Permalink 0

The changing face of the academic world, the major cuts in funding, the new pressures faced by academics are also reflected in the changing role of the postdoc. While in the past newly qualified doctoral students or those in the writing up stage would spend a great deal of time writing up grant applications for ...

Critical Reflection and Teaching

By Thursday, December 5, 2013 0 , Permalink 0

Some of my reading for this week included extracts from Stephen D. Brookfield (1995) Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass) One passage quite early on in the book drew my attention: ‘What critical reflection means for our teaching’ (38-48) Here Brookfield discusses the ‘emotive’ aspect not just of teaching, but also of being reflective and analytical about ...

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