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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Riffs of change : musicians becoming music educators Lee, Karen Vickie


Riffs of Change is a storied dissertation that researches the inherent shifts and extensions in musicians' identities as they transform into school teachers. My research explores literary studies, arts-based research and feminist-based literature. I investigate musicians' lives in practicum, university, and schoolbased contexts. I discuss the nature of institutional education and the musicians' conflicts with love, loss, pain, wisdom, and change. The musicians even draw me into my own autobiographical journey. I rediscover that my identity is constructed poetically, psychologically, educationally and philosophically by music and reflect on how this changes the trajectory of my life. I represent my research in the form of eight short stories and an autobiographical account of my experience. The stories are considered creative non-fiction. My dissertation seeks to demonstrate the creation of stories, pedagogy, and research shaped by constructivist philosophy. I examine musicians' beliefs, education, and experiences focusing on their identity issues as they transform into music teachers. The stories confront and challenge, chime wisdom, and steer readers into critical places of thought and unexpected spaces of change. My research found several results. First, some musicians could overcome their conflict if they collaborated in the story writing process, and was mentored by a school advisor that was also a professional musician. Second, story and autobiographical writing were found to be rich research methodology tools. While story writing helped some musicians, autobiography helped me resolve earlier conflicts which drew me back into music. Story authorship has helped me to understand my questions and musings about musicians, music educators, musicians as educators, and musicians becoming music educators. I gained a fresh voice and embraced the notion that I could explore issues from multiple viewpoints and writing styles.

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