Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis in music education research: an authentic analysis system for investigating authentic learning and teaching practice

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Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) is an experiential research methodology that aims to rigorously investigate personal meaning and lived experience. Informed by phenomenological philosophy, hermeneutics and idiography, IPA allows researchers to conduct a detailed exploration of how participants construct meaning from their personal and social contexts. The method has been applied further afield in social science disciplines such as education. This article provides insight into the process of conducting IPA in music education research, which is illustrated by material taken from studies conducted by the author who began using the analysis system in 2005. In this context IPA is regarded as an authentic approach situated in constructivism for exploring and interpreting authentic learning and teaching practice. It is proposed that such an approach can be used in music education qualitative research studies to provide an evidence-base for practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-475
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Music Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Authentic learning
  • Constructivist framework
  • Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
  • Music education research
  • Qualitative methodology
  • Digitial technology
  • Interview techniques
  • Interviewing analysis

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