chapter  21
The Fears and Joys of New Forms of Investigation into Teaching: Student Evaluation of Instrumental Teaching
ByIngrid Maria Hanken
Pages 10

The quality of teaching is of vital concern to institutions of higher music education, and in particular the teaching of the student's principal instrument. This chapter addresses the following question: Can student evaluation of individual instrumental teaching actually be counterproductive? Research on higher music education confirms that a close and personal relationship normally develops between instrumental teachers and their students. Instrumental teaching is often described as learning by apprenticeship. The chapter illustrates a case study to address student evaluation of instrumental teaching. The study revealed that many students find it difficult to be honest in their evaluations and identified three main potential difficulties: fear of hurting a teacher's feelings; fear of reprisals; and conflicting role expectations. The chapter highlights the problems associated with student evaluation in the particular educational context. This must not be interpreted as a total rejection of the whole idea of using student evaluation to improve instrumental teaching.