Practising Virtuosity

  • Clare Hall
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education book series (GED)


This chapter discusses how heavily invested all stakeholders in this field are in, what I refer to as, the choir’s ‘pedagogy for virtuosity’. I do this by exploring the investments made in virtuosity by the teachers, the mothers and the boys. A prominent theme in relation to the processes of embodying the dispositions of this habitus is ‘discipline’. A central aim of this chapter is to illustrate the necessity of considering discipline as a possible agential capacity and not necessarily a subjugative, negative force as is the common stance in educational discourses. This education occurs through the disciplining of the boys’ ‘choral bodies’ which capacitates the boys with high degrees of self-reflexivity.


  1. Ashley, M. (2009). How high should boys sing?: Gender, authenticity and credibility in the young male voice. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  2. Barrett, M. (2006). ‘Creative collaboration’: An ‘eminence’ study of teaching and learning in music composition. Psychology of Music, 34(2), 195–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bourdieu, P. (1993a). Sociology in question. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  4. Bourdieu, P. (1998). Practical reason: On the theory of action. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bourdieu, P. (2000). Pascalian meditations. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  6. Calhoun, C. (1993). Habitus, field, and capital: The question of historical specificity. In C. Calhoun, E. LiPuma, & M. Postone (Eds.), Bourdieu: Critical perspectives (pp. 61–88). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  7. Foucault, M. (1977). Discipline and punish (A. Sheridan, Trans.). Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  8. Foucault, M. (1988). Technologies of the self. In L. Martin, H. Gutman, & P. H. Hutton (Eds.), Technologies of the self: A seminar with Michel Foucault (pp. 16–49). Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar
  9. Green, L. (1997). Music, gender, education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kehily, M. J., & Nayak, A. (1997). ‘Lads and laughter’: Humour and the production of heterosexual hierarchies. Gender and Education, 9(1), 69–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. McNay, L. (1999). Gender, habitus and the field: Pierre Bourdieu and the limits of reflexivity. Theory, Culture & Society, 16(1), 95–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. O’Toole, P. (2005). I sing in a choir but I have ‘no voice!’ Visions of Research in Music Education, 6(1). Retrieved from
  13. Sparkes, A., Partington, E., & Brown, D. (2007). Bodies as bearers of value: The transmission of jock culture via the ‘Twelve Commandments’. Sport, Education and Society, 12(3), 295–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Swain, J. (2004). The resources and strategies that 10–11-year-old boys use to construct masculinities in the school setting. British Educational Research Journal, 30(1), 167–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Swartz, D. (1997). Culture and power: The sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  16. Vincent, C., & Ball, S. (2006). Childcare, choice and class practices: Middle-class parents and the children. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Vincent, C., & Ball, S. (2007). ‘Making up’ the middle-class child: Families, activities and class dispositions. Sociology, 41(6), 1061–1077.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Wacquant, L. (1995). Pugs at work: Bodily capital and bodily labour among professional boxers. Body & Society, 1(1), 65–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Wacquant, L. (2004). Body and soul: Notebooks of an apprentice boxer. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Watkins, M. (2003). Discipline and learn: Theorising the pedagogic body. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, University of Western Sydney.Google Scholar
  21. Welch, G. (1997). The developing voice. In L. Thurman & G. F. Welch (Eds.), Bodymind and voice: Foundations of voice education (pp. 704–717). Iowa City: National Center for Voice and Speech.Google Scholar
  22. Wood, T. (1925). Music and boyhood. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clare Hall
    • 1
  1. 1.Monash UniversityFrankstonAustralia

Personalised recommendations