UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Fostering artistry and pedagogy : conversations with artist-teachers Frederick Hemke, Eugene Rousseau, and Donald Sinta Nolan, Julia


This research presents three case studies that explore university teachers in the private music studio and in the master class setting, framed by one central question: how do artist-teachers articulate, negotiate, and give shape to their pedagogical practices about artistry and interpretation within the context of private music education? The cases focus on saxophone artist-teachers Frederick Hemke at Northwestern University, Eugene Rousseau at the University of Minnesota, and Donald Sinta at the University of Michigan. I analyzed instrumental music performance teaching and learning from the perspective of the three artist-teachers. The data collected from interviews, observations, and my personal narratives provide a rich resource for the analysis of the professional lives of master musicians, their pedagogies, and their thoughts about artistry in music performance and instruction. Interviews with many of the artist-teachers’ students also informed my analysis. More important, this study connects present and future saxophonists by capturing the voices of recognized artist-teachers about artistry and pedagogy. Central to this thesis are the discovery of how little has changed in the concepts of artistry and pedagogy over time and across the evolution of musical styles, and recognition of the power of the strong bonds that connect generations of students with their teachers and their teachers’ teachers. Understanding and insight gained through data analysis and reflection on the outcomes illustrate a need for further research in the area of music performance with artist-teachers in the performance world, and a need to collect narratives from master musicians who incorporate teaching and performance experiences. Research into the setting for private music instruction is burgeoning. I provide a particular viewpoint into the lives and pedagogies of three North American artist-teachers of saxophone from my perspective as a performer, teacher, and researcher, as a model to encourage further research that contributes to knowledge in the academy about music performance and private music instruction.

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