hursday, Sept 26 | 9:00-10:50 am

Music, Memory + Story | Room 210

Voicing Music Teachers’ Autoethnographic Narratives

Forming a lifelong bond with music making in not only a process that occurs in and through the music—it is formed in, with, and through the music teacher. With this in mind, our paper will discuss the ways that autoethnographic narratives contribute to our understandings of what it means to be a caring, nurturing music teacher.

Autoethnography is the joining of the self (i.e., the auto from the Greek, αυτό), culture (i.e., the ehtno, εθνο) and writing (i.e., the graphy, γραφή), about both the self and culture and the ways the person (i.e., the teacher and student) enacts the story and the writing of the story. For us, autoethnography is pedagogical because engaging in the process of writing the and the teaches us about the learner, as well as about ourselves as teachers. It invites us to draw our attention to the shared moments with our students. It calls upon us to be mindful of our teaching and learning practices. It enables us to question, reflect upon, and search for new, creative ways of teaching and learning about music.

For those reasons, through our presentation, we seek to evoke nuanced understandings of the relationships between music teachers and young learners. We hope that our audience will immerse themselves in our story, which will be presented as a performative ethnography, and hear them as if they are the teacher, learning with the student. We believe our story will resonate with stories of teaching and learning practices, not only in music, but also across early childhood contexts. By reflecting on who we are as teachers, our relationships to our students, and our roles as early childhood educators, we wish to bring new questions and insights about the ways that teachers’ autoethnographies—as forms of storytelling and story sharing—can help engage, shape, and transform learning in early childhood educational research.


Peter Gouzouasis (Associate Professor, University of British Columbia) is one of the few music education researchers to conduct and publish work in arts-based educational research, and has been a trailblazer applying creative analytic practices to the study of music learning and teaching. His most recent book, Pedagogy in a new tonality (Sense Publishers, 2011), is a compilation of 24 teacher inquiries that examine applications of creative teaching and learning tactics, strategies, graphics organizers, visual journals, and digital technologies across the K-12 curriculum. He is also a member of the A/r/tography research group at UBC.

Jee Yeon Ryu is a doctoral student in Curriculum & Pedagogy at The University of British Columbia (UBC), specializing in music education. Her research interests include creative music making, teaching and learning in piano pedagogy. 

Music in the Waiting Room – Echoes of Early Memory

By bringing together threads of cognitive development research, a collection of early childhood memories and a handful of Classical compositions this presentation challenges the presumed limits of early childhood recall.  When does memory begin?  What forms can the recall of that memory take?  How do the resonating impressions from our early life influence our present?  The author recounts the narratives of four siblings who were intentionally exposed to specific works of music, as well as his own unintentional early musical exposure, and sets this to an accompaniment of excerpts ranging from Bach to Dvořák.  A counterpoint of history and case studies is woven into the structure.


Dr. Allan Thorpe's professional experience includes 18 years on faculty at TWU, 24 years of teaching music theory, and more than 25 years of professional performing. Conducting Concert Band, coaching small ensembles, teaching music theory and chairing of the Music Department are some of the activities that occupy him on campus.  Off campus he has an active performing career as a professional bassoonist.  This has included performances with Vancouver Opera, Pacific Baroque Orchestra and the Victoria Symphony.

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