Making mavericks: Preparing musicians for independent artistic culture

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This essay explores the role that maverick qualities - 'independent or unorthodox behaviour' (The Oxford Dictionary, 2015) - play in developing and sustaining musician employability. Whilst career education for musicians often highlights new career models (Bridgstock, 2005), there is limited evidence of how these concepts work in practice (McCowan and Wyganowska, 2008). Savickas (2011) suggests that 'individuals take possession of their lives by connecting who they are to what they do' (13). Findings from my recent study of the beliefs, values, work and learning of eight independent professional musicians highlight the links between independent beliefs and values (who they are) and subsequent pathways (what they do). These approaches suggest new roles Higher Education might play in fostering the attributes needed to navigate the often self-directed career pathways of musicians.

Original languageEnglish
Article number407
Pages (from-to)407-413
Number of pages7
JournalArts and Humanities in Higher Education
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Career construction
  • career counselling
  • employability
  • independent musicians
  • mavericks

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