This study explores how my musical background, teaching and performance skills, understandings, and knowledge acquired from both formal and informal influence has shaped myself as musician, teacher and researcher. The study reveals various learning cultures and social networks that frame my multiple professional identities that have themselves developed from my understandings of being a performer, an educator and researcher. This study explores three aspects to my being: personal identity, professional identity and my perception of the impact this has on my students through my teaching and performing. An autoethnographical method is used to investigate my background that is initially formed by the different modes of music education I received. The study reveals significant influences and formative experiences that impact knowledge and skill accumulation, shaping what informs my own practice as a musician, teacher and researcher. It reveals ongoing exploration, reflection and personal negotiations in maintaining ones’ development of performance and personal creative processes, whilst functioning as a facilitator and educator to others. This study offers insights into how cultural backgrounds, social contexts, teachers and peers influence others.


Formal and Informal Music Education, Situated Learning, Jazz, Improvised Music, Identity

Author Bio(s)

Leon R. de Bruin is an educator, performer and researcher in improvised and composed music. He has presented papers and clinics throughout Australasia, Europe and South America and performs a wide-ranging repertoire of music for trumpet, in both collaborative ensemble and solo recital platforms. He is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Education, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia and his dissertation studies include the teaching and learning of improvisation, creativity and collaborative learning processes and techniques for improvisers, and musician identity. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Leon R. de Bruin at, leon.debruin@monash.edu.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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