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Student-centred strategies for higher music education: using peer-to-peer critique and practice as research methodologies to train conservatoire musicians

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 April 2022

Jacob Thompson-Bell*
Leeds Conservatoire, 3 Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7PD


This article presents some arguments in favour of a student-centred learning and teaching approach for higher music education (HME), with specific reference to conservatoire settings in the United Kingdom. In support of student-centred pedagogy, theoretical modelling is undertaken to offer a model of motivation accounting for both individual and group learning environments, thus drawing together diverse pedagogical research into learner “self-efficacy,” “distributive” classroom agency and partnership models of learning and teaching. Based on the author’s own teaching practice with MA Music students at Leeds Conservatoire, two student-centred classroom strategies are outlined: Critical Response Process (CRP) and practice as research. These strategies are evaluated via theoretical and, in the case of CRP, primary research data from a questionnaire presented to MA Music students reflecting on their experience. Finally, an overarching student-centred framework for HME course design is proposed, cross-mapping different learning activities, knowledge paradigms and forms of motivation based on the previous discussion.

© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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