Exploring the content of instrumental lessons and gender relations in Australian higher education

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This observational study analysed the lesson content of 24 instrumental lessons (piano, strings and winds) using a gender-balanced sample (equal numbers of male/ female teachers and students) from five Australian higher education institutions to ascertain the priorities of topics in advanced applied music lessons in the Western Classical tradition. The results were analysed according to gender to determine differences of approach between male and female teachers and male and female students. Same-gender and different-gender pairings were also considered. Technique was found to be of the greatest importance, followed by Articulation and Expression. Some gender differences have emerged between the teachers, with the male teachers tending towards a more analytical approach and the female teachers adopting more balanced lesson content. The treatment of students showed some divergence, with greater emphasis on Expression in the lessons of female students, whereas the male students studied more Structure. The results demonstrate stereotypical gender behaviour among the teachers and towards their students not previously observed in this educational setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-176
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Music Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes

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