Mary Nugent is Head of Music Education at Marino Institute of Education, an associated college of Trinity College Dublin. From an early age, she was immersed in traditional and classical musics and has had an eclectic career across music genres as a teacher, performer and academic. It has included: teaching/ mentoring in community and school contexts; session-musician work; instrumentalist, chorister or choral conductor at various festivals, performances and broadcasts. She was musical director of the National schools programme Beo Go Deo (1996-2005). Mary’s recently completed PhD is entitled Instrumental Music Learning in an Irish Bimusical Context (Technological University, Dublin).
Negotiating Learning Bimusically: Social-cultural Aspects and Processes
In this provocation, I present findings from a collective case study focusing on bimusical learning processes and practices of students, aged sixteen to twenty years, as they cross between the different learning modes associated with classical and Irish traditional music in an Irish context. A highly nuanced understanding of bimusicality emerges through these students’ perceptions, beliefs and practices. While the ways of learning in each tradition are generally observed, individual narratives are characterised by different levels of immersion, participation, commitment and access in the two traditions. Context, learning process, individual and social dimensions emerge powerfully in these accounts.