Managing Time for Heads of Music Departments

The Bipolarity of Compulsion and Desire

  • Graham John McPhail Auckland University
  • Trevor Thwaites
Keywords: music education, Head of Departments


New Zealand secondary music teachers spend many hours each week in both preparing and training a variety of performance ensembles, often before school, during lunchtimes, after school, on weekends and during holidays. In many cases this can be regarded as unpaid labour, yet their efforts make a significant contribution to a school’s life: its atmosphere and spirit. In this paper we report on interviews with six music Heads of Departments and note the challenging nature of their work underpinned as it is by a what we describe as a structured antagonism and the bipolarity of compulsion and desire. The wider context is a world of increasing educational global spectacle as systems of teacher and school accountability, clustered together with associated targets and benchmarks, have become powerful and pervasive forces transforming the life and work of teachers.


How to Cite
McPhail, G., & Thwaites, T. (2018). Managing Time for Heads of Music Departments. Teachers’ Work, 15(1), 46-62.