Rethinking Success: Music in Higher Education

By Dawn Bennett.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Success, for the majority of performing arts majors, is defined as a performance career; and yet very few graduates achieve this goal. This paper draws on earlier research into the working lives and economic circumstances of instrumental musicians to consider how the goals of higher education music might be redefined for this cohort, and how this redefinition might be approached with students. Given the multiplicity of roles in which most musicians engage in order to sustain their careers, the research questions the concept of a musician as a performer, positing that a musician is rather someone who practises within the profession of music within one or more specialist fields. Whilst the paper considers instrumental music as its subject, the strategies for engaging students in future-focussed conversations have broad relevance.

Keywords: Music, Music Education, Higher Education, Employability, Student Engagement

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp.181-188. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 731.031KB).

Dawn Bennett

Senior Research Fellow, Humanities, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Associate Professor Dawn Bennett is a Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Creative Workforce initiative at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. She has authored over 50 publications in the areas of music education, careers, academic life and the creative workforce, including Understanding the Classical Music Profession: The Past, the Present and Strategies for the Future (Ashgate). Dawn serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Music Education and the Australian Journal of Music Education. She is a member of the Music Council of Australia, a commissioner for the ISME Teaching and Learning Forum, and editor of the Society’s newsletter.


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