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Annotated Bibliography
Submitted by
Bryndahl Weston
DePaul University
WRD 395, Section 102, Autumn 2014


Annotated Bibliography

Brenholdt, J. O., Gregson, N., Everts, J., Grans, B., & Healey, R. L. (2010). Performing
academic practice: Using the master class to build postgraduate discursive competences.
Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 34(2), 283-298.
This article considers the question of how to find ways of training PhD students in
academic practices, while reflexively analysing how academic practices are
performed. The supporting data answering this inquiry was drawn from a BritishNordic master level academic-based class. I concede that tutors, aka mentors, are not
akin to master instructors. Nonetheless, here is an example of providing resources that
build on or augment ones own expertise: The PhD participants might be considered
masters outside of the class, but, in class, are at the unifying level of student.
Further, the methods used in the master class are not so disparate from the methods
used to train new UCWbLers. That being use of written provocations to elicit short
papers or free write exercises, discussion group exercises, and reporting and training
in panel discussion. The lone distinct medium may indeed be the creative and
performing arts pedagogical exercises. Nonetheless, this is often associated with
master classes, and so I argue is still germane.

Terminology such as expertise can be subjective. Especially when applying same

across professional lines. However, this article specifies expertise because the
audience, authors, and subjects have all, at minimum, received a post-graduate
degree. Perhaps it is not empirical, but someone who earns at minimum a Masters


degree and is actively pursuing a PhD must have some expertise in something.
However, the UCWbL core belief that a tutor provide resources that build on or
augment [ones] own expertise begs the question of how, in what capacity, and to
what extent those with expertise can enhance their knowledge base. For example, this
article begins with the given that PhD candidates from the Nordic countries and the
UK wish to develop core verbal competences of academics. As part of this process,
they tackle the questioning from the position of an informed generalist rather than an
expert specialist. This may seem like a disconnected thought, but I feel it relates
directly to the UWCbL and the underpinning of a tutors expertise. We are rarely an
expert specialist; rather, our expertise is predicated upon our being an informed

The Brenholdt article argues that current training in social science research creates a
faux speciality, as training is almost exclusively research-specific; and, is limited to
conference or written presentation of papers and research of same. This creates a
dearth of understanding of academic activities outside of research and paper
presentation; specifically, Brenholdt identifies a restricted understanding of
academic practice and what it means to be an academic practitioner that is curtailed
only by the expectation that PhD researchers will become competent (note expertise is
not expected) discursive practitioners solely by watching, mimicking, or modifying
how other, more established, academics formulate and articulate comments,
observations, and questions.


Conversely, Lanners describes an academic expectation for student contributions of

articulate and constructive feedback. Not only does this promulgate interaction from
those students who might otherwise be apprehensive of offering such observations, it
strongly encourages said student to verbalize concepts explored in lecture or lesson.
In this way, the students solidify both the concept as well as recognize their efficacy
for others. Plus, Lanners lauds the practice as an effective learning tool, because
anyone may be called upon to comment at any time! The subjugation of informed
generalist to expert specialist described by Brenholdt is minimized in Lanners
classes, be they master, studio, or private, through his discreetly shepherding discourse
and acting as moderator for open-ended questions. Said inquiries can, and often do,
relate to specific musical or technical topics; but, they can just as efficiently generate
the broadest range of input. This allows for both learning by assimilation as well as
understanding of the mechanics behind learning.
Lanners, T. (2012). The art of teaching master classes. American Music Teacher, 62(2), 30-33.
Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database. (Accession No. 82184782)
The key concept for the article is how to organically enable good collaboration
between listeners, performing students, and teachers in a master class. The focus is
how to empower the master teacher with the tools to facilitate a class that engages
all participants without allowing any to leave feeling frustrated or dismayed. The
phenomenology of providing resources that build on or augment ones own expertise
need not be subsumed by the terminology. I concede that tutors are not masters, but
argue that the continuing education and learning of how to disseminate ones
knowledge is as applicable to a master teacher as it is to a peer tutor. In fact, that is


the correlation between this article and the UWCbL core practice.

Sometimes the methods for clear communication can be grand gestures with ones
hands, exaggerated body language, or even consciously modulated facial expressions
with corresponding changes of inflection or pitch. The point being that the means
must be malleable enough to meet the ever changing needs of the writer(s). The
author dedicates no small amount of detail to illustrating examples for including
students and reducing feelings of alienation or vulnerability. This includes, but is not
limited to, conscientious pauses, active listening, and deliberate choice of technical or
aesthetic issues to be addressed in the time available. After all, one quickly learns in
tutoring that focusing on minutiae squanders time and sacrifices the opportunity to
discuss other points of greater interest or import.

To return to the importance of the interaction between a master class teacher and
student, and extrapolate to an UCWbL tutor and writer, let us consider Reynolds
argument that one should not shop around for guidance, because the nature of the
work requires continuity. With that said, the journey is comprised of stages and each
individual will spend varying amounts of time at each stage. Further, all steps in the
creative process are just that: steps in the creative process. Reynolds does not concur
with pre-compositional work; as he thinks that everything one does from the
moment of resolve to move forward with a creative project is an essential and active
stage in the search for a successful outcome for said project. So, too, does
Brenholdts article illustrate however imperfectly the process of identifying a


question and proceeding through research and writing of a paper with data to either
confirm or deny the question, followed by presenting the results (akin to a recital for a
composer or musician) to ones peers for review.

Because the stages of creation can vary both temporally and materially, during a
master class (or a tutor session) it is imperative, as Lanners points out, to orient the
audience and display an underlying pedagogical plan. This blueprint needs neither to
be detailed nor rigid; rather, Lanners puts the import on the action of prioritizing
topics and organizing thoughts before launching into instruction or in the UCWbLs
case, tutoring. Likewise, observing signposts will create pathways, or as Reynolds
calls them, doors, not only allows the student or writer to synthesize and employ his
or her observations as he or she wishes, it firmly relinquishes teacher or tutor control
by ensuring the opportunities and responsibilities remain with the student. A final
benefit, useful to all, but perhaps more salient to non-traditional musicians, students,
or writers is the ability to redact the feeling of being judged.
Reynolds, R. (2012). Thoughts on enabling creative capacity: Provocation, invitation, resistance ,
and challenge. Contemporary Music Review, 31(4), 313-322.
Music, like writing, can be considered an art form. Likewise, the process for creating
is similar between the two disciplines. The article strives to present ways and offers
three salient suggestions to nourish students and promote the goal of individualized
growth. The article contends that the means for such are master classes, context
building, and sustained mentoring. While the concepts might at first blush appear


different, and certainly one may wonder about application in music versus writing, the
vocabulary resonates between the two fields. Sustained mentoring and context
building may have been pulled directly from an academic article regarding writing
centres, a class lecture, or a seminar regarding peer mentoring and tutoring. What is
of the most interest to me is the application and use of master classes to provide
resources that build on or augment ones own expertise.

I was drawn to this source because its focus on developing a musicians individual
path of creativity mirrors the work the UWCbL does in promoting a writers ability to
realize better (i.e. more organized, creative, dynamic, engaging, etc.) writing. This
article plans to explore how the facilitator of a master class can remain aware of
standards, discussion, evaluation, and socialization, which are touted as the ideal
features of mentoring. This process requires that the master continue his or her
learning and deepen his or her expertise to better provide the resources, both technical
and creative, to aspiring students. Not only does the mentor (or tutor in the UWCbLs
case) gain clarity and greater expertise, but the student also gains the benefit of the
mentor or tutors increased capability and knowledge base.

The importance of the teacher or tutors ability to manifest the augmentation of his or
her own expertise is encapsulated within the wide range of ways creativity can be
evaluated or recognized and the desire of many students to maintain their selfefficacy. According to Taylors article, this desire coupled with choice and agency in
ones learning sustains ones personal growth. Further, she posits that students seek


instructors with good communication skills, patience, professionalism, a positive

demeanour, and both knowledge of and passion for their discipline. Such
premeditated parameters for learning indicate that mutual respect between tutor or
teacher and student is sought, and may be expected to manifest in equal preparedness
on the part of the teacher or tutor.

In other words, to borrow Lanners concept of a pedagogical blueprint, students (or

writers) will benefit most from those master teachers or tutors according to Taylor
who embrace and directly seek to imbue a master class, or tutor session, with the
organization and motivation within the context and content of a learners life.
Borrowing again from Lanner, the moderator is the one to provide the demonstration
(where applicable), encouragement, critical response, and sometimes even advice,
which will, in turn, enable the learner to be receptive to possibilities and new ideas.
Furthermore, Taylor argues that students will genuinely want to improve their
performance in whatever medium by learning both from a tutor as well as by
observing other peers learning without undue performance anxiety. An
underestimated and grossly overlooked detail is Taylors admonition that the audience
will also want to learn from observing students throughout this process. Herein lays
the wealth of opportunity for UCWbL tutors: We often learn as much from the writers
we tutor as they do from us. After all, as Reynolds adroitly points out, Of course I
know things that they do not. But the reverse is also true.
Taylor, A. (2010). Participation in a master class: Experiences of older amateur pianists. Music
Education Research, 12(2), 199-217. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14613801003746576


The focus of this article is the unique meaning derived from non-traditional (amateur)
pianists from a master class by means of examining the pianists experience from an
emic perspective. The goal is to increase understanding and knowledge of older music
learners. The UWCbL is filled with similar non-traditional students; many of whom
may have been out of school for decades, be returning after leaving (voluntarily or
otherwise) a first career, reintegrating with society after a stint in the military, or
whom for whatever reason have chosen now to obtain an education. None of the
tutors can truly know how the UWCbL approach is perceived by this facet of the
student population. For tutors to provide resources that build on or augment ones
own expertise, should they not have at least a working comprehension of the mental
approach of these students? In this case, the comparison of tutoring to a master class
may be alarmingly appropriate. So, this article seeks to mitigate any apprehension on
behalf of the participant by consciously modifying the interaction between teacher and
student to more closely resemble that of tutor and tutee.

This article fairly quickly veered off in a direction that is not salient to the promotion
of the UCWbLs core beliefs. However, the idea of being aware of the mental state
and level of vulnerability of the musician, or writer, in a learning situation is not
mutually exclusive from UCWbL tenets of tutoring. The author delves into the
hierarchal response from students, and this is one aspect that I feel will neither build or
augment ones expertise nor facilitate an open and constructive learning environment.
Perhaps this is one incontrovertible difference between applying soft skills in musical
master class versus a tutoring appointment. Interestingly, the set, ritualistic format



adhered to in master class sessions closely resembles that of a tutor in addressing

issues of style, artistry, technique, or even authenticity. So, even when the two
disciplines diverge, aspects of the core beliefs echo within each medium.

Likewise, questions arise from mature students with a life time of enculturation, be it
musical, academic, or otherwise, who might expect to work with, and learn from, their
tutor in a democratic way. This phenomenon is akin to the penultimate goal as
evinced in Brenholdts article; namely, that academic competence rests as much on
the ability to relate material to a broad field, and the capacity to synthetize material
accordingly is as important to tutor as it is to research post-graduate students. After
all, developing synthetic skills requires a different emphasis from those needed to
create the raw material for a project. Brenholdt argues the difference is born in the
need to assure that postgraduates learn to formulate both comments and questions in
relation to experts working in other field to better develop the ability to draw links and
comparisons between theories, ideas, professions, etc.

For Brenholdt, the Socratic Method of asking questions becomes part of the master
class ritual. Accepting the importance of learning to not only ask questions, but to
ask the correct questions, Taylors contention that the ritual of a master class does not
just enhance or impede the context for learning, it also includes the anticipation and
aftermath, opens a new vein for ideas regarding overall mental and academic health
for students and writers in a learning environment. The unifying factor between a
PhD-level research project, adult amateur pianists, and UCWbL writers is the



psychological space identified by Taylor as the means by which one develops

motivation through preparation, reflection, and further learning. This can be applied
equally to student and writer as to teacher and tutor, as these processes appear to be
important factors in the immediate construction and long-term maintenance of ones
genre-based identity. This, in its most basic form, is the essence of providing
resources that build on or augment [ones] own expertise.