Whose agency matters? Negotiating pedagogical and creative intent during composing experiences

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Drawing on observation and interview data collected from a case study of learning and teaching in a music technology lab, this article focuses on the nature of feedback and compositional intent during a soundtrack composing experience as viewed through the lived experiences of a teacher (Mary), a student composer (Ellen) and Ellen's peers. Tensions embedded in their shared experiences are analyzed for insights that may help other teachers of music composition in schools provide more successful feedback through valuing and responding to the student's musical agency and compositional intent. These insights illustrate the complex interplay among teacher feedback, learner agency and students' compositional intent, with particular attention to implications aimed at helping teachers to facilitate and design composing experiences in more inclusive ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-58
Number of pages16
JournalResearch Studies in Music Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Composition pedagogy
  • Learner agency
  • Peer feedback
  • Teacher/student interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music


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