About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2780-2788
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain

ARE SKILLS IN MUSICAL PERFORMANCE TRANSFERABLE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR SCHOOL LEADERSHIP?

K. Heardman

University of Plymouth (UNITED KINGDOM)
Effective leaders and successful musicians have two well-developed qualities in common: the ability to listen and hear details that many others would miss, and the self- confidence to stand alone in a variety of situations and express oneself fully. Many of the world’s successful and effective leaders have also been talented musicians; Edward Heath, Henry VIII, Tony Blair, Bill Clinton. In my research, I am exploring whether in primary schools, there is also a relationship between musical expertise and leadership.

Leshnower (2007) writes of the Cassatt String Quartet that they believe ‘leaders are made, not born’. She goes on to describe the philosophy of the String Quartet that ‘playing chamber music sharpens leadership skills. Leaders are developed by learning behavioral and ensemble skills – creating a vision, communicating effectively while being an active listener, initiating change, taking risks, and building trust.’ Members of the string quartet deliver training in leadership skills through the medium of ensemble music performance, claiming that the following facets of leadership can be learnt through ensemble playing:

• Creating a vision
• Communicating effectively
• Listening actively
• Initiating change
• Risk taking
• Building trust

Effective leaders are not afraid of taking risks, since it is necessary to go into the unknown in order to discover unique ways of improving an organisation. In education, many successful heads are recognised as ‘mavericks’ (Davies et al 2005). As Parncutt and McPherson (2002) put it ‘In order to avoid predictable responses, musicians need to devote practice time to exercises and activities that encourage creativity and risk taking and, most important, replicate the improvising environment, where mistakes and disaster recovery occur on a regular basis’.
Furthermore, Peter Hanke (2008) divulges ‘leadership lessons from musical performance’, stating that ‘"The artistic approach gives conventional management a closer connection to courageous steps into the unknown." Speaking of the development of leadership skills through musical performance, he goes on the claim that ‘The behaviour and communication among performing artists is highly developed. Within their practice we find initiative, intuition, correlation and co-operation, mutual demands, result efficiency, space for personal development, conflict handling and other essential matters solved in any successful concert or scenic performance’.

I will be presenting early findings from my study centred on case studies of head teachers in the South West have been interviewed about their perception of the extent to which their musical expertise has contributed. Using a narrative approach, key themes will be identified to explore the relationship between school leadership and musical skills and what other factors appear to co-exist with these accomplishments. The intercultural appeal of music has particular resonance for the international audience of this conference.

Implications of the findings for leadership training will also be discussed.
@InProceedings{HEARDMAN2010ARE,
author = {Heardman, K.},
title = {ARE SKILLS IN MUSICAL PERFORMANCE TRANSFERABLE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR SCHOOL LEADERSHIP?},
series = {4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-5538-9},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {8-10 March, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {2780-2788}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Heardman
TI - ARE SKILLS IN MUSICAL PERFORMANCE TRANSFERABLE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR SCHOOL LEADERSHIP?
SN - 978-84-613-5538-9/2340-1079
PY - 2010
Y1 - 8-10 March, 2010
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2010 Proceedings
SP - 2780
EP - 2788
ER -
K. Heardman (2010) ARE SKILLS IN MUSICAL PERFORMANCE TRANSFERABLE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR SCHOOL LEADERSHIP?, INTED2010 Proceedings, pp. 2780-2788.
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