chapter  15
Assessing Leadership Skills in the Conservatoire
ByTim Palmer
Pages 26

The conservatoire sector has long seen a tension between the performancecentred nature of one-to-one teaching and solo recital assessment, and the many and varied requirements for success in the music profession (Bennett, 2007). Traditionally, complementary knowledge and skills training has focussed on the language and history of music, often with pedagogy added alongside as the accepted ‘professional skill’. More recently, there has been an increasing awareness that the development of leadership and entrepreneurial skills, in both the musical and arts management senses, should be included in course design in order to facilitate transition into professional life (Gregory, 2005b; Creech et al., 2008; Johansson, 2012; Gaunt, Creech et al., 2012). However, there can exist a tension between the expectations of the student body concerning the practical training and assessment that is perceived to be valid for a performing career (Bennett, 2007) and the desire of institutions to teach and assess learning outcomes in complementary areas. Conservatoires generally also have a strong reliance on assessment of final product rather than of process and, whilst the former is popular amongst the student body because of its more easily understood tasks and assessment criteria, reliability in the latter can be difficult to maintain in examples like the leading of a rehearsal of pre-composed chamber music. Nevertheless, the presence of process assessment is an important tool in evidencing deep learning (Fautley, 2010).