On song with research

February 26, 2015

Although it is possible to have a residual sympathy for David Oldfield’s assertion that lecturers in the arts and humanities spend too much time researching rather than teaching (“You’re here to teach. Save the trainspotting for the weekend”, Opinion, 12 February), I wonder whether I would have been interested in studying at a university of teachers.

I went to the University of York in the early 1970s because I had read the books of Wilfrid Mellers. He was, I believe, the first academic in an influential position to allow his students to write about popular music. He was an inspirational lecturer whom we didn’t expect to see on a daily basis but were happy to see writing books and having his music performed.

At the conservatoires of music, it is expected that visiting professors are engaged in the “real” world as performers and composers. I am sure that Janis Kelly’s students at the Royal College of Music would have been inspired to see her perform a major role in Philip Glass’ opera The Perfect American at the English National Opera in 2013. The problem that musicians have is justifying performance and composing as “research”, but I know that many music students from all over the world come to UK universities and conservatoires to study with teachers whom they already know through publications and recordings.

Paul Robinson
Composer and part-time professor Royal College of Music

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

sitting by statue

Institutions told they have a ‘culture of excluding postgraduates’ in wake of damning study

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate