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‘Not an ogre’: adult music learners and their teachers, a corpus-based discourse analysis

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Posterpeer-review

Publication date2015
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Adult learners are an under-researched group in music education. Although music education research often uses texts (interviews, autobiographical accounts, survey responses), linguistic analysis has not yet been used in this area. Meanwhile, the internet has become a source of support and expression for adult music learners, through blogs and forums. This presentation describes part of the research undertaken for my MA in English Language, which uses a corpus of online texts to investigate discourses of adult music learners. Using corpus searches as a starting point, I combine several linguistic discourse analysis techniques to explore how adult learners describe their experiences of and relationships with music teachers. I find that adult music learners represent the student/ teacher relationship as crucial but complex, with discourses around teacher support and approval. The issue of control in student/ teacher relationships appears frequently, revealed by passivisation and metaphors of force, injury and war. These findings have the potential to inform music educators, influencing the way individual teachers work with adults, and the guidance given by organisations who offer music education training. The study demonstrates the potential of corpus-based discourse analysis (which is increasingly being used outside linguistics) in the realm of music education.