The Investigating Musical Performance (IMP): Comparative Studies in Advanced Musical Learning research project was a two-year comparative study of advanced musical performance. It was devised to investigate how classical, popular, jazz and Scottish traditional musicians deepen and develop their learning about performance in undergraduate, postgraduate and wider music community contexts. The project was conceived as a multi-site, multi-methods research project that draws equally on the strengths and expertise of the four higher education partners (the Institute of Education, University of London; University of York; Leeds College of Music; and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow).
Included in the research methodology was a specially-devised questionnaire, linked electronically to a 624 field database, that provided a comprehensive, short-term, longitudinal comparison of participants’ (n= 250+) backgrounds, attitudes and approaches to advanced performance learning over a twelve month period. This data was complemented by interviews, individual case studies, focus groups and digital video analyses of studio-based instrumental lessons.
A complementary study Learning to Perform, focused on the longitudinal development of undergraduate musicians, was located at the Royal College of Music. Both research packages were funded under the ESRC’s Research Programme on Teaching and Learning (TLRP).