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date: 08 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

We draw on four contrasting examples to illustrate how institutions and teachers support and shape music learning. Institutions include cultural settings and educational establishments, and teachers are broadly defined as people who have a role in musical learning, such as peers, and are distinguished by having knowledge of perceived value to the learner. The underlying conceptualization is that individual and collective music learning is nurtured within social contexts. The lens of activity theory is used to explore how learning and development are the product of inter- and intrapersonal behaviors shaped by cultural artifacts, tools (e.g., language, selected music repertoire), expectations and “rules” (conventions and norms) within a community setting. The examples reflect the contextualized music learning experiences of (1) a young musical savant, (2) advanced music students in higher education, (3) female choristers in a traditionally all-male UK cathedral setting and (4) diverse groups of adolescents in lower secondary school.

Keywords: music, learning, institutions, teachers, activity theory, savant, adolescents, students

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