More than the practice room: exploring the conservatoire student experience.

Prostrollo, Danielle (2019) More than the practice room: exploring the conservatoire student experience. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis sets out to investigate how students navigate and reproduce culture in the conservatoire, in contrast to much research in this area which has focused on teaching and learning in formal contexts. My primary aim is, therefore, to explore the conservatoire as a separate institution within higher education. I investigate how students experience conservatoire culture, analysing influences on the student experience as well as how students' experiences of conservatoire culture relate to their development. To answer these questions, I employ a framework that takes a view of culture and tradition as active processes within an organisation, utilising concepts from Giddens and Bourdieu.

I developed a case study of three UK conservatoires, conducting in-depth semi-structured interviews with current conservatoire students and staff and participant observation at each conservatoire. This methodology allowed me to develop a nuanced understanding of how a student experiences aspects of life such as extracurricular activities and the teaching and learning relationships in the conservatoire. Additionally, these methods enabled me to look at how the student experience is shaped through peer relationships and notions about the profession. Through thematic analysis, I investigate the complexities of conservatoire culture which include embedded messages about practising and the music profession. I explore how students engaged with culture and how they viewed the conservatoire way of life, focusing on their ideas about free time versus practice time as well as perceptions of conservatoire hierarchies. I also examine the primary study tutor’s influence on the student experience, including students’ ideas about the ideal student-tutor dyad and perceptions of the tutor as a mentor. The thesis helps build an understanding of the conservatoire student experience that can be used in the creation of HE policy that is fair and inclusive to this student population.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2020 15:34
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2020 15:34

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