Transformative One-to-one Teaching And Learning (TOTAL) was a pilot project led by the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University. It was steered by an international group of researchers and educators with deep expertise in, and passion for, transformative learning and teaching practices.  

The resources on this website were developed as part of the TOTAL project. We encourage institutions, teachers and students to make full use of the resources on this site! They fall under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) licence. This means that within the boundaries of copyright law, you can remix, tweak, and build upon the TOTAL project resources and use them non-commercially, as long as you credit the original authors and license your new creations under identical terms. If you need advice to ensure that your use falls within these guidelines, please contact us.

What is transformative teaching and learning?

Transformative teaching and learning is a student-oriented, collaborative and exploratory approach to education. Students take an active part in their own learning, and the role of the teacher is first and foremost to help students learn how to learn.

Why is transformative teaching and learning important in music?

According to the latest research, transformative learning increases student engagement and motivation. Compared with more teacher-oriented approaches, it has better learning outcomes overall for students. It also supports students’ personal and artistic growth, and helps develop career, professional, and life skills. This in itself makes it important for music learning!

In addition, though, transformative learning ensures that students are able to build on their knowledge and skills long into the future. This is important, because most music learners will stop taking lessons when they reach adulthood. For those students who do continue, career pathways in the music industry are often unforeseeable. Transformative learning better equips learners to cope with the range and diversity of skills necessary for professional life as a musician.

What are some qualities of transformative teaching?

Transformative teaching places greater importance on learning than assessment or exams. It puts new learning in context – for example, by placing it within the context of students’ broader lives and careers. In this way, teachers help their students make sense of their learning. Transformative teaching embraces an open, collaborative and exploratory approach in the music studio, and encourages students to take ownership of their learning. Teachers remain flexible and agile in their teaching approach, responding to the individual needs of each student.

Where can I find out more? 

There are a range of good resources about transformative learning. A non-conclusive list of those that are specific to music education may be found under the Resources page of this website.