Career Choice: The Voices of Music Students
147 pages
English

Career Choice: The Voices of Music Students , livre ebook

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147 pages
English
YouScribe est heureux de vous offrir cette publication

Description

It is most times not easy for school leavers to make the right choices about the field of academic study that would help them attain their career visions. Factors including family upbringing, social-cultural experiences, early education, peer associations and perception of self all impact on the career choices of young persons.This book researches and presents a sampling of first-hand accounts of the personal journeys towards the choice of music as a field of specialisation written by students at the Department of Music, University of Pretoria, South Africa. The self-explorations included in the book are insightful glimpses into the individual histories of the students that are worth telling. The varied individual stories are instructive to any young person who wishes to reflect seriously on self and capability before deciding on an appropriate field of higher academic studies.“The study provides frank knowledge reflecting the pursuit of academic careers given by music students themselves, and gives a clear inside perspective informing readers of particular aspects influencing academic preference. As students operating within the realms of an academic institution, and with the tools of personal experience, and raw, honest accounts of the journeys of peers and past students into their academic careers as students of music, we hope to offer a distinctive perspective on the motivating factors influencing scholars when choosing fields of specialisation.”—- Taryn Arnott and Louise Saunders (eds)

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Publié par
Date de parution 28 mai 2012
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781920299309
Langue English

Exrait

C A R E E R CHOICE
T he voic e s of music student s
Edited by Taryn Arnott and Louise Saunders
AFRICAN MINDS
Published in 2008 by African Minds for the Centre for Indigenous Instrumental Music and Dance Practices of Africa (CIIMDA) 32 Fifteenth Street, Menlo Park, Pretoria, South Africa
www.africanminds.co.za
ISBN 978 192 0299 30 9
© 2008 Centre for Indigenous Instrumental Music and Dance Practices of Africa
All rights reserved.
Designed and typeset by Greymatter & Finch
www.greymatterf inch.com
CONTENTS
Forewords  Professor Wim Viljoen v  Professor John Hinch vii  Professor Meki Nzewi x
Introduction 1
CHAP TE R 1 Human factors inf luencing choice of specialisation 7
CHAP TE R 2 Academicfulfilmentthroughmusicalexploration,andmusic as a lifestyle 25
CHAP TE R 3 Cultural and social factors inf luencing choice of specialisation 49
CHAP TE R 4 Visionary factors inf luencing choice of specialisation 81
CHAP TE R 5 Introspective views of musical study 97
CHAP TE R 6 Fundamental observations occurring throughout the essays 127
CHAP TE R 7 Retrospective research 131
References 134
iii
Fore word
Professor Wim Viljoen
The Department of Music, University of Pretoria, South Africa, like any other music department anywhere, admits students on the basis of set criteria.The essence is to ensure that students, upon admission, can successfully cope with the demands of an area of study. This book is a welcome addition to the literature, especially as it relates to students’ experiences of the topic. It is not usual to investigate how candidates applying for admission achieve the entry requirements or whether they have the necessary temperament, or background, demanded by the career options in the discipline of study. Some students may have the intellectual capability to obtain an academic qualification but lack the needed emotional and innate disposition to pursue a rewarding career in the disciplinary field. This book is about young people talking about where they are coming from, and where they are aiming to go as responsible citizens whose ambition is to contribute positively to society and humanity in their chosen professional specialisation. It is also about young people making positive observations about their environment of intellectual grooming, such that would give them the knowledge grounding that is requisite for a fulfilling career. Although the selfref lective essays are specific to studying music, the principle and selfref lection apply equally to other disciplines.  Hopefully the accounts contained herein will resonate appropriately with career choice and careerforming issues at tertiary institutions. The book also makes the point that our students are capable of making the
v
mature decisions that are needed to undertake the disciplinary challenges of independently editing and introducing a specialised book such as this. We as educators and mentors encourage professional projects such as this; the experience, competence, expertise and enterprise practically gained and manifested by students working with peers endure and energise the drive for original accomplishments in the professional arena. It is my sincere wish that this book will inform and enrich many prospective students’ lives!
Professor Wim Viljoen Head: Department of Music University of Pretoria
vi
Fore word
Professor John Hinch
What would motivate anyone to suggest writing a major undergraduate essay on such a nebulous topic? Any topic that brings into the spotlight the multitude of questions that surround ‘the meaning of music’ must surely result in vague, complacent inexactitudes with little intrinsic meaning. And then compiling them into a book would surely and necessarily evoke scorn and derision from a variety of sectors. However, these young, secondyear musicstudentsturnedessaywriters have obviously not considered the task in these terms and have generously poured out their inner thoughts and feelings in a rainbow of insights as seen through their individual prisms of experience. It’s apt, coming from this ‘rainbow nation’ and all the more apt, as it is the universality of their insights that shines through. To state that ‘I am a musician’ is as unenlightening as stating ‘I am a sportsman’! It proffers limited information, and begs a host of questions. Similarly, ‘I am a music student’ is not a definitive statement. But here, these often beautiful, always thoughtprovoking essays show the many faces of the ‘music student’. There are two oftquoted statements that point to a myriad of mis conceptions about this thing called ‘music’; innocent, quasiphilosophical traps for the unwary young essay writer. Firstly,‘Music is a universal language.’ Music may well have the inherent possibility (task?) of transcending many
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global boundaries, but does music ‘say’ anything? Many of these essay writers appear to believe so. If so, what message does it convey? Again, these young music students render many versions of the ‘message’, some delightful, some enlightening. Is any one more valid than the next? Does it matter? Each version, as portrayed in these essays, is necessarily unique, and the validity thereof is inherent in the aggregate of each individual. Secondly, ‘Music is the language of the emotions.’ Clearly it cannot be, but these essays often allude to the students’ ‘love’ of and for music, and their involvement with it. Time and again their emotional link to music surfaces and soars above their more mundane explanations for music’s role in their lives. While music is obviously not the emotion itself, it certainly seems to massage their emotions in some inexplicable way. To misquote 1 Marshall McLuhan, it appears that, to these young music students, ‘music is the massage’. How many students (and how many parents!) have asked the perennial question ‘Why study music?’ Career paths in music are crowded. Specifically, those that lead to professional, performing careers are inundated with pilgrims seeking the musical grail of selfexpression through musical performance. Now that, increasingly, a degree with Music Technology gives entry to the vast world of the music industry; the stampede has begun. Then there are the two types of music teacher: those who choose to teach as their first priority; and those who wander from the performance path, who (hopefully) will discover Tryon Edwards’ maxim, ‘If you would thoroughly know anything, teach it to others,’ taking no cognizance of George Bernard Shaw’s oftquoted, maligning statement that ‘He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.’ Yet these essays portray many students who view a bigger, brighter future with increasing possibilities offered by the electronic age. And others who view the essential truths of the past as being still valid today, to form the cornerstone of their careers, wherever and whatever those may be. Many essays espouse elements of both of these views. These students have – probably unbeknownst to themselves – fallen into step with Shaw, when he (benignly, this time) stated: ‘You see things and say “why”; but I dream of things and say “why not”?’ Indeed, why not a career in music!
1 www.quotationspage.com <accessed 3 June 2008> is the source of all the quotations in this Foreword.
viii
These essays are littered with beautiful, insightful statements and phrases, many of which will resonate with those lucky enough to pick up this tome. Many will linger on in my mind. All praise to the two undergraduate editors and their perspicacious mentor Professor Meki Nzewi.
Professor John Hinch Department of Music University of Pretoria
ix
Fore word
Professor Meki Nzewi
Academic studies in tertiary institutions aim to equip students with the required disciplinary knowledge and appropriate degrees and certificates that would qualify them to embark on specific professional careers. Departments in tertiary institutions prescribe matriculation subjects, grades and other knowledge backgrounds for admitting students. The human and social backgrounds, and the selfassessment and visionary factors that inf luence a prospective student’s career ambitions, and which in turn help a student decide on a discipline of specialisation, are not commonly known. These personal histories impact strongly on a student’s focus and performance in academic studies as well as postgraduation career practice. Disciplines in academia are primarily concerned with the issues of lectures, research and the grades earned by students. Attention is seldom directed towards the critical but nonacademic human and social backgrounds that discretely impact students’ devotion to studies, their failures and successes, their career decisions and fulfilment in the field after graduation. It is of central human concern that academia should stimulate students to aim for attaining job fulfilment in their chosen careers. This is predicated on constant selfref lection and selfassessment that would enable a suitable choice of areas of specialisation within broad disciplines. Measures that would engineer such constant selfref lection and selfassessment along with intellectual capability should be built into students’ professional training.
x
Selfunderstanding coupled with confidence in the knowledge gained could obviate the possibility of suffering frustration in a career, as much as in life generally. I joined the Department of Music of the University of Pretoria in 2000 to take charge of African music studies. In my second year of teaching, I decided that to gain insight into what motivates students to choose music as an area of career specialisation could be instructive in designing an appropriate African music studies programme that would adequately balance the other disciplinary modules available. I was also convinced that it is important to listen to what the students had to say about institutional experiences basic to their respective motivational backgrounds and career ambitions. It then became imperative that the students should be coerced to ref lect, subjectively as much as objectively, and make their voices heard regarding their expectations before admission, their institutional experiences and their career prognoses. An essay : ‘My ambition for studying music’, was designed and built into the second year course requirement in African music. The students were required to write in narrative style within a given topic framework. Narrative ignites deep selfref lection and f luency in selfexpression. When an original story is freely narrated, the heart reveals how it feels. The students’ stories about their journey into music as a field of specialisation were very sincere and instructive. The essay became a basic module requirement, and has continued to furnish musical journeys from babyhood to institutions of higher learning. The students’ voices would inform study design sensitive to adequate intellectual and practical grooming for fulfilling professional practices. The stories about the career journeys of the music students were such that they needed to be shared because of their potential to guide prospective students in opting for a career discipline. Deep ref lection on one’s background – academic, social and human – as well as vision of self, would enable the choice of a rewarding and fulfilling career field. The Centre for Indigenous Instrumental Music and Dance Practices (CIIMDA) has an inclusive approach to musical arts education in Africa. Most of the students’ stories in this publication are about classical European music backgrounds that have inspired decisions to study and practise music as a career in contemporary Africa. This publication has relevance for the objectives of CIIMDA because it presents an aspect of the milieu of which academic musical arts studies and professionalism on the continent must be conscious.
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