chapter  XIII
Student Commentary: Leadership at the Undergraduate Level
Cultivating Collective Ownership
WithKelly Bylica
Pages 6

Reflecting on the author’s own experiences as a music educator and future teacher-educator, this chapter turns to how undergraduate students can more carefully and practically consider the role of leadership skills as they enter the profession, as well as how higher education can support such dispositions. The chapter argues that at the undergraduate level, leadership should be grounded in the development of self-concept and opportunities for critical thinking, which can lead students to interrogate the status quo and creatively lead, work and advocate in the domain of musical practice within and beyond higher education. The chapter focuses on the notion of collective ownership, which suggests that the responsibility for the development of leadership skills lies equally with teacher and student. Whereas the teacher’s responsibility is to facilitate a welcoming, collaborative environment, the student’s responsibility is to take advantage of it: to share his or her goals, to engage in dialogue, to think beyond an imitative approach to music-making and to participate creatively in the musical process. The development of independence and active initiative, coupled with critical thought, capacities promoted as being central to undergraduate development, can create change and forward motion, both within and outside of the field of music.