Music literacy and the instrumental teacher

Stakelum, M. (2024) Music literacy and the instrumental teacher. Music Education Research ISSN 1461-3808 (print) 1469-9893 (online)


In a report commissioned by the Society for Music Analysis to address a gap in music literacy, McQueen (2020) identified instrumental teachers as an important part of music education both within schools and in the community. This article takes as a starting point McQueen’s (2020) proposal that ‘it is through instrumental tuition that music literacy in its many forms is likely to develop’ (p.65) to tease through some of the implications it might have for contemporary perspectives on music education. In doing so it assesses the relationship between music literacy and music analysis as a complex one involving professional partnerships which can lead to ‘a clash of allegiances’ (p.83) evident in versions of curriculum knowledge and the values underpinning them. My aim is to bring forward discussions surrounding instrumental teaching and school curricula, and to argue that greater collaboration between all those engaged in music education will address issues arising from and perpetuated by their separation.

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