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  • Cited by 7
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    McKay, Jade and Devlin, Marcia 2016. ‘Low income doesn't mean stupid and destined for failure': challenging the deficit discourse around students from low SES backgrounds in higher education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, Vol. 20, Issue. 4, p. 347.

    BORN, GEORGINA and DEVINE, KYLE 2015. Music Technology, Gender, and Class: Digitization, Educational and Social Change in Britain. Twentieth-Century Music, Vol. 12, Issue. 02, p. 135.

    Broad, Stephen and O'Flynn, John 2012. Special Issue: Current Issues in High Music Education. Music Education Research, Vol. 14, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Moore, Gwen 2012. ‘Tristan chords and random scores’: exploring undergraduate students' experiences of music in higher education through the lens of Bourdieu. Music Education Research, Vol. 14, Issue. 1, p. 63.

    Burwell, Kim and Shipton, Matthew 2011. Performance studies in practice: an investigation of students' approaches to practice in a university music department. Music Education Research, Vol. 13, Issue. 3, p. 255.

    Ashwin, Paul 2008. Accounting for structure and agency in ‘close-up’ research on teaching, learning and assessment in higher education. International Journal of Educational Research, Vol. 47, Issue. 3, p. 151.

    Cox, Gordon and Pitts, Stephanie 2008. The British Journal of Music Education 2003–2007: an editorial retrospective. British Journal of Music Education, Vol. 25, Issue. 03, p. 253.


The socio-cultural and learning experiences of music students in a British university

  • Nicola Dibben (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 March 2006

Research into student experience in Higher Education has largely focused on students' role as learners. However, the student experience encompasses a much wider range of behaviours and beliefs than can be captured through a focus on teaching and learning alone. I report the findings of a research project which explored student experience in the music department of a British red-brick university. Music presents a particularly interesting case study given the presence of extra-curricular musical activities, the opportunity for social interaction between staff and students outside the formal context of the lecture or seminar room, and perceptions of Western art music as a form of ‘middle-class’ culture. Analysis of survey and interview data reveals the centrality of musical performance activities, and in particular the development of a performer identity, to students' experience of belonging and achievement. The influence of students' socio-economic background is also considered: social class was largely invisible to respondents within the departmental context, possibly because it is an invisible norm, within larger contemporary discourses in which social class is equated with financial difference rather than cultural difference. However, the research revealed an association between socio-economic background, term-time employment and academic achievement. The implications of these findings for teaching and learning in music in Higher Education are considered.

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British Journal of Music Education
  • ISSN: 0265-0517
  • EISSN: 1469-2104
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-music-education
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