Functional Language & Literacy in Practice: A Higher Education Music Context

Michael Galeazzi, Anthony Shannon, Zofia Krawczyk-Bernotas


Currently most Higher Education (HE) and Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses do not specifically address functional literacy skills. A student could potentially pass the course, yet still be functionally illiterate. This paper is an attempt to consider what language and literacy issues might mean in practice in the context of Australian music higher education through investigating the role of reflective practice in music performance. A graduating music performance class at the Australian Institute of Music is employed as a case study to unpack the role of functional literacy in this context. Here, aligning cognitive processes with course development may avail opportunities for literacy skills to develop, but it still remains a question as to where such opportunities could exist within the broader education field. Regardless, the aim is to support content understanding by focusing on the nature and practices of academic reading and writing in all education environments.


Full Text:



Asmus Jr, E. P. (2004) Music teaching and music literacy. Journal of music teacher education, 13(2), 6- 9.

Bartlett, I.M., (2011) Sing Out Loud, Sing Out Long: A Profile of Professional Contemporary Gig Singers in the Australian Context. Brisbane: Queensland. Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University.

Benedict, K. L. (2012) Critical and Transformative Literacies: Music and General Education. Theory into Practice. 51 (3): 152-158.

Besser, L., & Cronau, P. (2015). Degrees of Deception. Four corners.

Boyer, E. L. (2016) Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. [Updated and Expanded by Drew Moser, Todd C Ream, John M Braxton and Associates.] The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass, Part One.

Bundy, A. (ed.) (2004) Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy Framework: principles, standards and practice, 2nd edition. Adelaide: Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy.

Gray, W. S. (1969) The Teaching of Reading and Writing: An International Survey. 2nd edition.

Glenview, IL: UNESCO/Scott Foresman, p.21.

Hanna, W. (2007) The New Bloom’s Taxonomy: Implications for Music Education. Arts Education Policy Review, 108 (4): 7-9, 12-16.

Hobbs, V. (2007) Faking it or hating it: can reflective practice be forced? Reflective Practice, 8 (3): 405-417, DOI: 10.1080/14623940701425063.

Lebler, D., & D. Weston (2015) Staying in Sync: Keeping Popular Music Pedagogy relevant to an Evolving Music Industry. Journal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. 5 (1): 124-138.

Levett-Jones, T. (2007) Facilitating reflective practice and self-assessment of competence through the use of narratives. Nurse Education in Practice 7 (2): 112-119.

Neill, B. (2003) Pleasure Beats: Rhythm and the Aesthetics of Current Electronic Music. Leonardo Music Journal. 12: 3-6.

Oare, S., E. Bernstorf, & S. Giray (2016) 5 Redefining Music Literacy. Contemporary Research in Music Learning Across the Lifespan: Music Education and Human Development.

Palovich, K., E. Collins, & G. Jones (2009) Developing Students’ Skills in Reflective Practice. Journal of Management Education, 33 (1): 37-57.

Potter, D. (2012) Numbers don’t tell the whole story. TEACH Journal of Christian Education, 6(2), Article 10, 39-45.

Trigwell, K., A.G. Shannon, & R. Maurizi (1997) Research-coursework Doctoral Programs in Australian Universities. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.

Waller, D (2010). Language literacy and music literacy: A pedagogical asymmetry. Philosophy of Music Education Review, 18(1), 26-44

White, S. L. J. (2014) Transitioning from vocational education and training to university: strengthening information literacy through

collaboration. Adelaide: National Centre for Vocational Education Research.

White, S., & A.G. Shannon (2014) Strengthening information literacy through collaboration: implications for AIM. Australian Institute of Music Discussion Papers. No.30.

Wisker, G. (2008) The Postgraduate Research Handbook. Second Edition. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Zwozdiak-Meyers, P. (2012) The Teacher’s Reflective Practice Handbook: Becoming an extended professional through capturing evidence-informed practice. Oxford: Routledge.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Michael Galeazzi, Anthony Shannon, Zofia Krawczyk-Bernotas