A Shared Approach? Peripatetic and classroom teachers’ perspectives on pedagogy and professional relationships

Pete Dale, Hannah Rodger*, Caroline Owen, James Poole

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The relationships between peripatetic instrumental and vocal teachers and classroom teachers in schools are often highly varied. There are manifold benefits to creating closer working relationships between these two groups of teachers through increased collaboration and communication, yet they are often seen as disparate parts of a pupil’s learning. Focusing on schools in the UK, the continuing reduction of music education (Bath et al., 2020), declining KS4 and KS5 student numbers (Whittaker, 2021; JCQ, 2021, 2014), and the increase in distance-learning caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have further diminished these working relationships and pupils’ practical musical activities.

This chapter introduces a preliminary study into the experiences of peripatetic instrumental and vocal and classroom teachers in a specific network of UK secondary schools. Primary quantitative and qualitative data is analysed to examine these teachers’ shared perspectives concerning the benefits and areas for improvement of their working relationships. Examinations into the similarities and differences in the pedagogical approaches that they use, stemming from past research into the transferability between these different teaching roles for individual teachers (Welch et al., 2010; Roulston et al., 2007; Kokotsaki, 2010), are also undertaken. The collected data primarily concerns the teaching of KS4 and KS5 level pupils, since these crucial stages are often when both groups of teachers take the most active role in all school pupils’ musical studies. Particularly during these levels, peripatetic and classroom teachers often place their primary focus on separate aspects of pupils’ studies; the former on performance and the latter on composition and musicology; though exceptions to these do of course occur.

The discussion of the findings explores aspects of viability and value relating to peripatetic and classroom teachers learning and utilising each other’s pedagogical techniques, and how they can create improved, symbiotic relationships to complement pupils’ learning in their different teaching spheres. Ultimately, this research will move towards providing suggestions regarding potential steps that music educators can take to share pedagogical practices and improve support networks for pupils of all ages to motivate them to see the value and continue with their musical studies, achieve their potential, and develop positive musical identities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook for Instrumental and Vocal Teaching
EditorsLiz Haddon
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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