evidencing-transferable-skills-in-music-education -...

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1Evidencing Transferable Skills in Undergraduate Music Education 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 The notion of transferable skills in Higher Education has been well documented and continues to be an important feature in a student’s development during an undergraduate course. Certain subject areas have conducted their own research into the notion of transferable skills within their courses, in addition to more general approaches to transferable skills across subject areas, such as that of Assiter1. 1.2 The issue of transferable skills and music degrees per se, has been but briefly addressed. It is, however, discussed in terms of employability, or under the umbrella term of ‘performing arts’. Articles from Brown2and Pearce3cover some aspects of both music and non-subject-specific skills, but whilst the focus of these articles is on the range of music skills, there is a growing need to highlight the non-subject-specific skills or, more specifically, thetransferableskills that are acquired in a music degree and are necessary for post-university employment. 1.3 Transferable skills are widely recognised as a vital component of any degree and necessary for future employment. Music students leave university with a broad range of transferable skills, many of which may not be obvious to future employers. By presenting Higher Education music courses in terms of their ability to offer potential employability, partly through the acquisition of transferable skills, music academics help to validate music’s place within the academy, alongside other discipline areas. Acknowledging the importance of the transferable skills developed through music degree courses is one initiative that can be employed to ensure that the value and applicability of such programmes is fully recognised by students, government and funding bodies. 2. THE PROJECT 2.1 In late 2007, we ran a three-month project on behalf of the National Association for Music in Higher Education, and are grateful to PALATINE, the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Dance, Drama and Music, for providing the necessary funding. This project had three initial aims: to ascertain which transferable skills are currently being developed through music undergraduate programmes; to identify which transferable skills academic staff regard as being important for music graduates in their post-university careers; to determine the available, and collectable, evidence that such skills were being acquired. 2.2 We collected information through four specific sources: 1Assiter, A. Transferable Skills in Higher Education (London: Kogan Place, 1995). 2Brown, R. ‘Enhancing Student Employability?: Current practice and student experiences in HE performing arts’, Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 6, 28 (2007), 28-49.

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Term
Spring
Professor
Staff
Tags
Academic degree, transferable skills

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