Tracing the Transition from Study to a Contemporary Creative Working Life: The Trajectories of Professional Musicians
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
The classical music academy is a site dominated by traditional meanings of creative practice and an image of the professional creative career as solo performer that is fully available to only a very few students after graduating. The purpose of the study reported in this paper is to explore career-young professional pianists’ talk about the transition from study within a music academy to working life. The focus is on the ways in which they characterize the nature and significance of this transition from very traditional practice and study, and how they (re)negotiate their identities as professional musicians and pianists in contemporary working life. Four classical pianists were interviewed in-depth about their musicianship, including their transition from study to working life. The qualitative analyses presented here suggest that, as they talked about their transitions and developing musicianship, the speakers constructed, re-constructed and oriented to notions of professional trajectories. Such trajectories are emergent, relational and contextually constituted (Sawyer 2003; MacDonald and Miell 2002; Moran and John-Steiner 2004). Rather than being fixed or dependent on communal expectations, they reflect creative freedom and independence, encompassing multiple influences. Crucially, the transition from study to working life is implicated in the process of assuming agency in respect of one’s own musicianship and career—a process that involves identity work, the (re)negotiation of pathways, narrations and trajectories.
- Barnes, B. (2000). Understanding agency. Social theory and responsible action. London: Sage.
- Bennett, D. (2007). Utopia for music performance graduates. It is achievable, and how should it be defined? British Journal of Music Education, 24, 179–189. CrossRef
- Bransford, J. D., & Brown, A. C. (2000). How people learn: Brain mind experience and school. Washington DC: New Academic Press.
- Burland, K., & Davidson, J. W. (2004). Tracing a musical life transition. In J. W. Davidson (Ed.), The music practitioner: Research for the music performer, teacher and listener (pp. 225–249). Aldershot: Ashgate.
- Burt, R., & Mills, J. (2006). Taking the plunge: the hopes and fears of students as they begin Music College. British Journal of Music Education, 23, 51–73. CrossRef
- Corkhill, D. (2005). A young person’s guide to the orchestral profession. British Journal of Music Education, 22(3), 269–285. CrossRef
- Eteläpelto, A., & Saarinen, J. (2006). Developing subjective identities through collective participation. In S. Billet, T. Fenwick, & M. Sommerville (Eds.), Work, subjectivity and learning: Understanding learning through working life (pp. 157–177). Dordrecht: Springer.
- Fielding, N. (1993). Qualitative interviewing. In N. Gilbert (Ed.), Researching social life (pp. 135–153). London: Sage.
- Grossen, M., & Pochon, L.-C. (1997). Interactional perspectives on the use of the computer and on the technological development of a new tool: The case of word processing. In L. Resnick, R. Säljö, C. Pontecorvo, & B. Burge (Eds.), Discourse, tools and reasoning: Essays on situated cognition (pp. 265–287). Berlin: Springer.
- Juuti, S., & Littleton, K. (2010). Musical identities in transition: Solo-piano students’ accounts of entering the academy. Psychology of Music, 34(4), 481–497. CrossRef
- Kingsbury, H. (1988). Music, talent and performance: A conservatory cultural system. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
- MacDonald, R. A. R., & Miell, D. (2002). Music for individuals with special needs: A catalyst for developments in identity, communication and music ability. In R. A. R. MacDonald, D. J. Hargreaves, & D. Miell (Eds.), Musical identities (pp. 163–178). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- MacDonald, R., Miell, D., & Wilson, G. (2005). Talking about music: A vehicle for identity development. In D. Miell, R. MacDonald, & D. J. Hargreaves (Eds.), Musical communication (pp. 321–338). Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRef
- MacNamara, A., Holmes, P., & Collins, D. (2006). The pathway to excellence: The role of psychological characteristics in negotiating the challenges of musical development. British Journal of Music Education, 23(3), 285–302. CrossRef
- MacNamara, A., Holmes, P., & Collins, D. (2008). Negotiating transitions in musical development: the role of psychological characteristics of developing excellence. Psychology of Music, 36(3), 335–352. CrossRef
- Manturzewska, M. (1990). A biographical study of the life-span development of professional musicians. Psychology of Music, 18(2), 112–139. CrossRef
- Miller, J., & Baker, D. (2007). Career orientation and pedagogical training: Conservatoire undergraduates’ insights. British Journal of Music Education, 24(1), 5–19. CrossRef
- Mills, J. (2004a). Working in music: the conservatoire professor. British Journal of Music Education, 21(2), 179–198. CrossRef
- Mills, J. (2004b). Working in music: becoming a performer teacher. Music Education Research, 6(3), 245–261. CrossRef
- Mishler, E. G. (1986). Research interviewing: Context and narrative. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
- Nikander, P. (2008). Working with transcripts and translated data. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 5(3), 225–231. CrossRef
- Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluative methods (3rd ed.). Thousands Oaks: Sage.
- Sosniak, L. A. (1985). Learning to be a concert pianist. In B. S. Bloom (Ed.), Developing talent in young people. New York: Ballantine.
- Taylor, S., & Littleton, K. (2008). Art work or money: Conflicts in the construction of a creative identity. The Sociological Review, 56(2), 275–292. CrossRef
- Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Wirtanen, S., & Littleton, K. (2004). Collaboration, conflict and the musica identity work of solo students: The significance of the student-teacher relationship. In D. Miell & K. Littleton (Eds.), Collaborative creativity (pp. 26–39). London: Free Association Press.
- Wooffitt, R. (2001). Researching psychic practitioners: Conversational analysis. In M. Wetherell, S. Taylor, & S. J. Yates (Eds.), Discourse as data: A guide for analysis (pp. 49–92). London: Sage.
- Tracing the Transition from Study to a Contemporary Creative Working Life: The Trajectories of Professional Musicians
Vocations and Learning
Volume 5, Issue 1 , pp 5-21
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Identity work
- Research interviews