How musical are primary generalist student teachers?

Henley, J. (2016) How musical are primary generalist student teachers? Music Education Research, 19 (4). pp. 470-484. ISSN 1461-3808 (print) 1469-9893 (online)

Henley 2016 How musical are generalist primary student teachers MER.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (645kB) | Preview


Current inclusive pedagogical thinking advocates that learning should begin with what the learner can already do. As children bring rich musical experiences with them into school, primary generalist student teachers also bring rich experiences of music and music-making into their initial teacher education programmes. Yet debate still continues as to whether primary generalists can teach music. The research reported in this paper originated from the reflective practice of a primary generalist teacher educator. Through anecdotal evidence in her teaching, she found that the musical profiles of students undertaking a one-year postgraduate primary teacher education programme were changing. Younger students were beginning to discuss experiences of widening participation opportunities when reflecting on their own musical learning journeys. Moreover, the richness of musical experiences reported by the primary generalist student teachers each year was consistent. The current research resulted from a desire to document these experiences, and also to find a way to gather this information prior to the students starting their course in order to improve teaching; by finding out what the students could already do, teaching could be planned so as to practise and model effective inclusive pedagogy and use the allocated time for music in the best possible way. The paper opens with a review of recent research, raising new research questions as a result of a potentially changing student musical profile. The integration of reflective practice and research to form a research methodology is discussed, and a theoretical framework of what is meant by musical is given. The initial findings of the research are presented and discussed; the paper closes with an overview of the next stages of the research project and the implications for initial teacher education are identified.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Music Education Research on 12th July 2016, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords: primary music, generalist teacher, teacher education, student teacher, primary generalist confidence
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study
Division: Music Education
Depositing User: Jennie Henley
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2019 16:13
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2019 16:13

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item