Theses Doctoral

Invisible Terrains: Experiences of Nomadic Music Teaching Artists

Kresek, Katharine Charlotte

This study explores the complexities of professional performing freelance musicians who teach part-time through arts organizations in multiple educative settings, a condition I refer to as nomadic. Nomadicism is characterized by an inherent sense of itinerancy. Through semi-structured interviews and observations with three participants, I constructed narratives of individual experience through a method of narrative inquiry, which enabled much-needed nuance and complexity, as prior research in the field of teaching artistry has focused mainly on surveys of working conditions with mostly informal anecdotes from the field. The music teaching artists in this study negotiated highly complex careers to extraordinary degrees in which they experienced conflicts between their preparation as highly accomplished performers and their preparation for their work as teachers. While each participant expressed their motivations for pursuing careers as teaching artists in radically different ways, they shared similar patterns of integration and reciprocity between their performing and teaching identities. Participants communicated unique, varied, and idiosyncratic narratives of perceived successes and challenges in preparing, adapting, and negotiating their multiple roles across multiple spaces. While their work had them interacting with students, teachers, administration, family, and musical colleagues, the teaching artists still experienced significant feelings of isolation. Ultimately, each participant articulated the need for openings of dialogical spaces for teaching artists to commune and grow with one another. This study brings a critical perspective to the conditions of music teaching artists and how they and those that prepare and work with them might bring criticality and responsiveness to their unique place within the wider world of arts education.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Arts and Humanities
Thesis Advisors
Allsup, Randall Everett
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 24, 2018