Teaching creative music: A case-study and action research examination of practices in creative music making

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Corcoran, Sean
Education , Music Education
Many scholars agree that creative music making can facilitate student agency development, increase a sense of belonging and foster creative expression. Creative music making allows students to bring their perspectives to the learning context through their own creations and explorations. In my own teaching practice, I have had difficulty implementing creative music making in a community music setting. Using a two-phase approach of multiple qualitative case studies, and action research, I examined teachers’ perspectives of creative music making, and ways I can improve my own teaching of creative music making. Findings revealed that teachers’ experiences with creative music making in their own music education played a crucial role in preparing them to teach creative music. Instructors conceptualized creative music making as activities that develop people’s agency through collaborative music creation, that have the benefit of creating a sense of belonging, while giving students the opportunity to contribute to their community. The implementation of creative music making seems to rely on connecting students to their wider community, which is achieved in part through incorporating their own musical tastes and experiences. Instructors indicated that balancing the learning goals of technical development with creative music making and exploration was an ongoing challenge.
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