Volume 21 Number 3 January 20, 2020

The ‘Back and Forth’ of Musician-Teacher Partnership in a New York City School

Ailbhe Kenny
Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland

Citation: Kenny, A. (2020). The ‘back and forth’ of musician-teacher partnership in a New York City school. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 20(3). Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.26209/ijea21n3.


Teaching artists are often a central feature of arts-in-education work in North American schools. This article examines a teaching artist’s engagement in one New York City school, with three classroom teachers, as part of the Philharmonic Schools program. Through a qualitative case study approach, musician-teacher partnership within one public school is problematized. Data was collected over seven months through in-class observations, classroom teacher and teaching artist interviews, and a teaching artist reflective log. Findings reveal how the classroom teachers and teaching artist journeyed together to deliver music in their classrooms, projected musician/teacher identities, negotiated roles within the partnership, created reflective spaces and mutually informed each other’s practice. Thus, the complexity of, but also the possibilities and pathways for, dialogic music-in-education partnerships are revealed.

Visual Abstract

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