Teaching strategies and gender in higher education instrumental studios

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This study investigates instrumental music teaching strategies in higher education settings, in order to identify those employed and their frequency and context of use. An instrument- and gender-balanced sample of 24 lessons from five institutions was analysed using a researcher-designed observational instrument. The results reveal the predominance of teacher demonstration, general directives and praise as most frequent teaching strategies employed in lessons. Gender differences emerged in the teaching approaches: the male teachers gave more general directives and explanations and the female teachers offered more answers and practice discussions; the male students received the most specific teacher criticism despite uniform use of praise. The findings provide new evidence of teaching practices in advanced instrumental studios and raise questions regarding gender issues in music teaching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-45
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Music Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • gender
  • higher education
  • instrumental teaching

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