The Difference Between Private Tutors and Classroom Teachers: a Research Essay

In today’s society, private tutors and classroom teachers in a musical environment face a unique challenge. Having enough time to teach students and having the skills to teach them the necessary material to further educate them and prepare for a career in music wether that be specialising in composition, performance or musicology. This essay aims to assess the difference in the teaching styles of classroom teachers and private tutors within a secondary school environment, how this impacts students and weather a new approach is necessary to create a new style of teaching or not. The essay will be referencing to an attached annotated bibliography from which I draw many ideas that may or may not have been mentioned in this article.

But what is teaching? Pedagogy is defined by Oxford dictionaries as, “The method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.”[1] I will be using this definition to base my analysis of classroom teaching and private tutoring. Because so many different private tutors have their own individual teaching method due to no formal education, I will be basing private tutoring methods on my own methods and the methods of select teachers. This essay will also involve analysis of musicologists who specialise in the field of pedagogy in order to establish classroom teaching methods. In order to keep this essay from being beyond the research of one person I will be drawing on surveys conducted by other researchers in the field but also restricting my research to students who play drum kit in order to avoid instrument bias which can heavily affect the results of any research. It will also only be involving students in their High School Certificate years (these being grade 11 and 12) as part of the education syllabus in New South Wales secondary schools.

The empirical research involves the close study of secondary education readers and papers. These will be heavily referenced along with the syllabus for secondary schools in New South Wales to watch these teaching methods in practice.

Classroom teachers are required by law and by their job definition to teach what is written on the syllabus for music students, here are the objectives of Music 1 as defined by the Board of Studies Australia:

  • To develop knowledge and skills about the concepts of music and of music as an art form through performance, composition, musicology and aural activities in a variety of cultural and historical contexts
  • To develop the skills to evaluate music critically
  • The develop an understanding of the impact of technology in music
  • To develop personal values about music[2]

And For Music 2 (which also includes Music Extension):

  • To continue to develop musical knowledge and skills, an understanding of music in social, cultural and historical contexts, and music as an art form through performance, composition, musicology and aural activities.
  • To develop the ability to synthesise ideas and evaluate music critically.
  • To develop an awareness and understanding of the impact of technology on music
  • To develop personal values about music.[3]

Classroom teachers have to abide by these objectives and educate through what is known as the syllabus dot points which leaves very little in the sense of flexibility within the teaching schedule. What needs to be understood is that teachers only have two years to educate students to be prepared for tertiary education  or a career in music if the student so desires.

Private tutors on the other hand, don’t have to abide by these rules and can teach their given instrument in any way they choose, this can be a distinct advantage and a disadvantage as described by Keith Swanwick

Some of the most disturbing teaching I have witnessed has been in the instrumental studio, where-in a one-to-one relationship giving the teacher considerable power- a student can be confronted simultaneously by a complex page of notation, a bow in one hand and a violin in the other…to play in time, in tune, with a good tone.[4]

This describes the possible negative points that can be associated with private tutors, and indeed my research has found that students in a one on one environment feel more pressure to perform and feel more confronted with all of the aspects of music reigning down on them. Swanwick however, goes on to describe how it can be a positive experience,

…Some of the best teaching has been by instrumenalists…They [teachers] understood that musical knowledge has several strands, different levels of analysis; and they left space for intuitive engagement-where all knowledge begins and ends.[5]

Swanwick’s analysis unfortunately loses somewhat of its credibility in my argument due to the fact that the examples that Swanwick uses are based on primary schoolers in England. But the idea can still be interpreted to a high school environment.

Before showing my experiments and surveys which analyse the difference between private tutors and classroom teachers I will observe surveys and interviews that came before this set of questions. A survey I will be referencing will be from Tami Draves’ journal article Teaching Ambition: A Case Study of High School Music Students.  Draves found that after interviewing students in a local choir, the students were found to prefer being privately tutored by a performer rather than a classroom teacher.[6] Draves goes on to describe her thoughts after combining her interview information with her own experience to describe the ideal music teacher,

Generally, participants described the ideal music teacher, in words and images, as possessing three kinds of teacher knowledge: content, pedagogical and contextual…For these participants, the ideal music teacher was multi-faceted, possessed multiple types of knowledge and skills and acted out a variety of roles as part of the primary role of music teacher.[7]

These students give a good overview of what a music teacher should be and how they should operate in and out of the classroom. But how does this compare with my research into the matter of classroom teachers in comparison with private tutors?

With this point of view I will be assessing the validity of private tutors within a classroom environment. I surveyed students of drumming (specifically drum kit) who were tutored by private tutors and also completed their Higher School Certificate at various levels (Music 1, 2 and Extension). The results showed that most students preferred to go to their classroom teachers when they were discussing or being educated in musical theory and musicology while they preferred to go over the finer points of music performance as an art, performance practices, theories and performance etiquettes with a private tutor. Twenty students, some who had completed their Higher School Certificate and some who were in the process of completing it were used to create this data. They could give more than one answer. Here are the results of my surveys.



The problem with comparing the idea of a classroom teacher with a private tutor is what could be known as an ‘apples and oranges’ comparison. The majority of students tended to hire private musical tutors in order to focus on performance and become proficient in the performance styles of music. This is shown in the chart below when I asked students the purpose for hiring their music tutor.


But why is this the case? As shown in the Higher School Certificate Syllabus above, classroom teachers are required to teach performance as an art. The issue is of course instrument specialisation. Every secondary school music teacher is not required to know how to proficiently play more than one instrument. Given the wide variety of instruments included in the list of assessable performances (including DJ Decks!), it would almost be near impossible to be able to have in depth knowledge of every common instrument in the High School Certificate Syllabus. So it seems that private tutors are a necessity to help students pass their HSC.

And so, my theory is this. Classroom teachers and private tutors are dependent on the others existence. Private tutors cannot exist without classroom teachers and vice versa. I managed to establish as much when conducting an interview with a private tutor of drum kit.

Drumming is a difficult instrument to teach in a classroom, that it why we are here. Most tutors I know are there to supplement a HSC students need for performance practice while they cover theory and musicology with their teacher at school. I’m there not to cover the syllabus, but to push a student to the best of their performing ability while the teacher helps them write a performance program for their assessments.[8]

As can be shown, private tutors and students agree that the tutor is there for performance practice while classroom teachers are there to help a student work through theory and musicology throughout their studies.

I also asked the tutor what his teaching methods were and how he thought they helped HSC students.

I teach in the same way I was taught. I emphasise music reading for drums and the ability to play by ear. This gives all of my students the best chance at learning any material that is available. I show them every popular music genre and ask what they wish to learn then teach them the basics of the form. The way I teach I believe is helpful to students during their HSC because it gives them the skills to play the widest variety of material. If song is old and was never recorded they can read the music. No music but the song is recorded? Then they can learn by ear instead.[9]

This is of course only one viewpoint from which the role of private tutors are can be viewed in the context of educating secondary students. But given my own experience as a tutor and a student I can attest to the idea of tutors being used to help students excel at performance while classroom teachers help the student excel in their study of musicology and musical theory.

In conclusion, through research into the subject of classroom teachers versus private tutors when teaching secondary students attempting the complete their Higher School Certificate it can observed through empirical and ethnographical research that a student in order to be best prepared for further education or a life in music. Classroom teachers and private tutors and required to work together almost with no communication. Using the student as a conduit to pass through their experience. Wether it is practical or theoretical education, society needs classroom teachers and private tutors order to provide students a future within music because students are the future of our society.

By Timothy Symes-17220994






















Board of Studies NSW. “Objectives” Music 1 Stage 6 Syllabus. 13 October 2009. (Accessed 22/05/2013)

Board of Studies NSW. “Objectives” Music 2 Stage 6 Syllabus. 13 October 2009. (Accessed 22/05/2013)

Draves, Tami. “Teaching Ambition: A Case Study of High School Music Students.” Music Education Research. Routledge, 2012. (Accessed 23/05/2013)

Oxford. “Definition of Pedagogy” Oxford Dictionaries. (Accessed 22/05/2013)

Swanwick, Keith. “Instrumental Teaching as Music Teaching” In Teaching in Secondary Schools: A Reader. Taylor & Francis, 2001. (Accessed 22/05/2013)


[1] Oxford, “Definition of Pedagogy”

[2] Board of Studies NSW, “Objectives” Music 1 Stage 6 Syllabus P.9

[3] Board of Studies NSW. “Objectives” Music 2 Stage 6 Syllabus P.9

[4] Swanwick, “Instrumental Teaching as Music Teaching” P.193

[5] Ibid. P.195

[6] Draves, “Teaching Ambition: A Case Study of High School Music Students”

[7] Ibid.

[8] Interview Conducted with Darren Hamilton, Local Drum Tutor. May 20, 2013

[9] Ibid


“We Shall Fight Them on the Beaches!” A Speech Analysis of Winston Churchill

The Winston Churchill speech “We Shall Fight Them on The Beaches” is arguably one of the most inspirational speeches given by a leader in World War II. The speech itself mainly is an update for the parliament on how the warfront is proceeding in regards to all aspects of England’s armed forces. The all too famous line, “We shall fight them on the beaches.” (Churchill 1940)  Only really occurs at the end of the speech. The analysis will show the person who wrote the speech and their agenda, how useful the speech is to historians and what it meant to the people of the time.

The orator of this speech, Winston Churchill, gave this speech June 4th 1940 to the house of commons approximately one month after he was made prime minister of England (May 1940) (The Wilderness n.d.). He was a conservative who sought to balance England in its time of need and act as a war leader with experience. All of his military experience was shown when he was elected. He was elected for that very reason given that he predicted the German advance and used this to gain forward momentum to become Prime Minister (The Wilderness n.d.). The idea of Churchill being in office only because he was the best Prime Minister to have in wartime was made clear when he lost his position in parliament after the war in 1945(Chart of Achievements n.d). The problem with Churchill the man is that he was only good at war. The majority of speeches Churchill gave were only given to either advance his position in politics or were to encourage the war effort within England. There were a few speeches to do with trade, commerce and world politics such as Liberalism and Socialism speech given when he was rising through the positions in parliament (Selected Speeches of Winston Churchill n.d.).

The usefulness of this speech to the people it was meant to effect is debatable considering the technology of the time and the context in which the speech was written. The speech was given to the House of Commons, not in a public space, so unless everyone was listening on the radio they wouldn’t have heard the speech. It seems to be more of an administration speech rather than a speech with any emotional attachment or vigour which could be said to lie in the speeches of Adolf Hitler at the time who gave his speeches to large crowds in public spaces for all to hear. This majority of the speech as mentioned before was just updating the House of Commons about the war effort in Dunkirk and how the German forces had pushed them back. (We Shall Fight Them on The Beaches, Churchill Pg. 1). The speech was to do with turning the tables around on Germany, taking the fight to them and winning. In this context, it makes more sense for the speech to be given to the parliament rather than in a public space but, again, the people that needed inspiring to join the fight in WWII was the common man and the common wasn’t paying attention to the what was the strutting of a witty old man who enjoyed being rude in parliament (Churchill: Leader and Statesman n.d.)

The key section of Churchill’s speech which has been quoted over the years is the last paragraph. The call to arms if you will,

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender (We Shall Fight Them on The Beaches Churchill Pg. 4).

But does this inspire people of the time? Some would argue no due to the reasons listed above. But the fact that this quote has stood the test of time and been used as inspiration for many other speeches in modern times it can be said that the effect this speech had on the people was very effective.

But what does this speech do for historians? Not much unfortunately. In regards to information given about the war effort it gives a very one sided argument obviously being from the perspective of English contexts. The problem with this is that historians only hear the sob stories and statistics given by the leaders of the country as opposed to giving a more generalised view of how the war worked in terms of numbers and agendas. If held up next to other sources such as any of Adolf Hitler’s famous speeches historians could ascertain more of an overview of the war but the same problem still remains of historical bias and not giving the objective overview of the war that is needed. This speech as far as historiography is concerned, is only good for knowing what the movements of the British Expeditionary Force (or B.E.F) in this particular time. There are far better sources with which to observe such as war journals and military reports rather than the second hand knowledge with a political spin so as not to concern the people. Churchill uses metaphors such as ‘Scythe-like’ to describe the German advance rather than just illustrate it or be more precise on the matter (We Shall Fight Them on The Beaches Churchill Pg.1).

In conclusion, this was an inspirational speech given by an inspiration man. But, within the context of the time and the people Churchill was trying to reach. It becomes fairly ineffective for its own purpose.

By Timothy Symes 17220994


The Wilderness n.d. Viewed 24/03/2013, <;.

Churchill, Winston, June 4th 1940, ‘We Will Fight Them On The Beaches.’ The Churchill Centre and Museum at the Churchill War Rooms, London <>

Churchill, Leader and Statesman n.d. Viewed 20/03/2013 <;

Chart of Achievements n.d. Viewed 21/03/2013 <>

Selected Speeches of Winston Churchill n.d. Viewed 19/03/2013 <>

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Homosexuals In Nazi Germany

The treatment of homosexuals in Nazi Germany was very similar to the treatment of other minorities but also different to Hitler’s treatment of Jewish or gypsy persons. This essay aims to analyse these differences and similarities in comparison to other minorities by covering how homosexuals were caught, what the consequences of being homosexual were and how they punished or not punished depending on the circumstances. This essay will be heavily referencing Pierre Seel’s memoir I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual: A Memoir of Nazi Terror.

Seel’s memoirs cover the story of his life; how he found out he was homosexual and the consequences of this. His story is a very accurate description of how homosexuals were found out. In Seel’s case, he reported a theft of his watch, a family heirloom that he was afraid of losing. This theft occurred within a district which was rumoured to have been a gathering point for the city’s homosexuals. During this time was the Nazi takeover in France. The officer who listened to Seel’s theft claim began to interrogate him on the matters of where he was and why he was there. Seel, afraid of being found out and humiliated by his family, lied about why he was there. He thought he had gotten away with it but it seems fate had other plans for him. The officer in question added Seel’s name to a list of suspected homosexuals in the area. Seel states


This time, he said, nothing would come of this comprising affair; I’d simply have to stay away from that disreputable place. Then he let me go…Little did I know that my name was added to the police list of the city’s homosexuals…How could I imagine this list would deliver me into the hands of the Nazis? (Seel 13-14)

Seel also witnessed the treatment of Jewish persons under Nazi rule, he watched as one of the Jewish apprentices that worked for his father was humiliated in the town’s public square. Seel describes the treatment of the Jewish people.

A horrifying spectacle greeted out eyes. We spotted our young apprentice on all fours with other prisoners: they were forced to tear the grass from between the paving stones and eat it under the kicks and lashes of the SS. On our side of the bars, we felt dumbfounded and powerless. The occupier was intent on showing that he was in full control. We never saw Albert Dreyfus again. (Seel 21)

These demoralising tactics was not uncommon within Nazi rule as part of Hitler’s war on the non-Aryan persons. The war was just as much psychological as it was psychical. This is one of the key differences within the treatment of homosexuals and other minorities. Jews were publicly humiliated while homosexuals were usually deported or hushed up unless they fought the regime. Hitler’s policies on homosexuals under the Third Reich are shown in The Journal of the History of Sexuality.

Homosexuality became a political issue in the Weimar republic in a variety of ways-during the course of ultimately unsuccessful attempts to repeal §175 of the German penal code, which made oral and anal sex between men illegal. (Hancock P.617)

This shows how Hitler wanted homosexuals to be treated.

Seel recounts his time as part of the interrogation processes that he was subjected to. This shows the turning point on Hitler’s war against homosexuals. Seel recalls,

At first we managed to endure the suffering. But ultimately it became impossible. The machinery of violence accelerated…In their fury, they broke the rulers we were leaning on and used them to rape us…But it was a wretched victory for our torturers. For though I signed the document as others did, to stop the agony, the bloodstains had made it intelligible. (Seel 25-26)

This torture was used primarily to force homosexuals to out others of their own sexuality, give as many details as they could as to how they were helping the French resistance and essentially attempted to destroy all feeling of self-worth. This already combined with the social stigma associated with homosexuality only forced the situation to worsen. But as can be noted in difference between the persecutions of Jewish persons. Jewish people were publicly humiliated while all the torture of homosexuals was done behind closed doors and seemed to only be a means to an end to battle the French resistance.

The similarities between the containment and torture of minorities is shown in Seel’s memoirs when he recalls his time in a ‘security’ camp, known as Schirmeck, the only difference in the prisoners was in the patches that were worn on their prison clothes. Seel’s recounts,

According to the documents that I eventually checked, blue meant that I was catholic or asocial. In this camp, blue also included the homosexuals…Those who had a red mark a triangle, line, or bar- were political prisoners, often Communists. After staying in Schirmeck only briefly, they were soon shipped off to far more terrifying destinations. The same was true for Jews, who wore a yellow star, and the Gypsies, who wore maroon: their deportation mean extermination. (Seel 30)

The ordeal that all the prisoners at the camp were subjected to varied from forced labour to other means of humiliation. Sometimes guards would throw scraps of paper within the barriers of the camp, which the prisoners were not allowed to approach, and were allowed to execute them on the spot for approaching it. But if the prisoners did not approach it as ordered the guards then had an excuse to torture then kill the prisoners. This kind of treatment was used on all the prisoners but it seemed that Jews were singled out as well for the demeaning act. (Seel)

This psychological war continued as part of Seel’s imprisonment, slowly destroying everything he ever felt as a human, he described himself and others in the prison camp as ‘ghosts’. One particular situation that Seel highlights is when the guards forced the prisoners to work while they had a banquet and drank heavily.

Our captors relished in the good weather. While we laboured, the SS set up tables groaning with food outside their house…The SS men got drunk and roared with laughter…The outdoor feast would sometimes end with some improvised sadistic games at our expense. (Seel 41)

Here is where the consequences for homosexuals and Jewish persons differed. Seel was released after he was shown to be on good behaviour in Schirmeck. He then was suffering what could only probably known as post-traumatic stress. He refused to talk to anyone in his family but then was conscripted to fight in the German army. This is the crux of my arguments out the difference between Jewish people, gypsies and other minorities. After torture, homosexuals were let go from their imprisonment and then conscripted into the army as Seel states.

…I received a German draft notice. A soldier detailed to the conscription effort brought it to my parents’ house. I was assigned to the RAD, the Reichsarbeitsdienst (Reich Labour Force). That dismal document, like my summons to the Gestapo ten months earlier, argued nothing good. The family cocoon is very fragile when confronted with the violence of nations. (Seel 52)

Seel’s military career consists of clerical work including being the personal assistant of a general in the SS. It is important to note that homosexuals were not the only persons that were forced to fight in the German army. Austrians and Czechs were also included in the army as the war turned against Germany. But in this case, Seel was treated with disgust and tormented socially as well as psychically in his life before military service.

Psychological torture for Seel continues when he joined the actual fighting forces and was forced to kill innocent people in the name of Hitler, this was a homosexual man being forced to fight for the same regime that tortured him. Seel states,

Someday historians will have to recount the monstrous tale of the unwilling Alsatians and Lorrainers who were forced to kill resisters, Anti-Fascists and their families- in short, murder the enemies of the Reich. The humiliating statute of August 25, 1942, tolled the death knell for the patriotic pride of Alsatian youth, which was forced to sacrifice itself to the Nazi flag. (Seel 56-57)


The only time that compassion was shown to seel in the slightest was when he was serving in Smolensk. This compassion came in the form of the German officer he was assigned to who knew that the Germans were losing the war. They both, in a sense, became deserters of the German forces. The officer seel was assigned to was eventually killed in battle. Seel recounts the events of what happened on that day.

One evening, when I was returning after a tour of the encampments to transmit my officer’s final orders, I entered our shelter-and caught him listening to the BBC…”Shut up! We have to keep informed. I must tell you the situation is desperate. This is the right moment to flee.” And indeed, the German army was on the verge of collapse. (Seel 70)

But how does this compare to other minorities? To start with the similarities, all the minorities in Nazi Germany suffered a separation and loss of family. Homosexuals were no exception. When seel was torn away from his family and his family learned of his homosexuality. He says,


It was May 2, 1941. Behind her cash register, my mother seemed more nervous and preoccupied than usual. She told me the Gestapo had come by and ordered me to report the following morning…One of my brothers came to see me in the visitors’ room. He and my father, nervous about my disappearance, had gone to the Gestapo the morning after I’d been summoned. They found out I was in was in the city prison. The SS man had added that in any case I was nothing but a ‘Schweinehund’ the disgusting German word was perfectly understood. (Seel 27)

This was a similar situation for Jewish people during the Nazi takeover, Elisabeth Freund comments on the way Jewish families suffered from the takeover,


There is hardly a Jewish family left that hasn’t been violently torn apart, whose members have not been scattered over the entire world, parents without their children, wives without their husbands…And all without news of one another, without knowing whether their relatives are still alive in the concentration camps. (Freund, Cited in Kaplan 1998)

These two viewpoints give a good overview of how Nazi Germany did not discriminate in their takeover. Every minority that was against Hitler’s idea of the ‘perfect human’ was taken away.

But were all homosexuals treated in the same way? Seel doesn’t appear to believe so when he describes the bourgeois returning to Alsace.


Outside, the Liberation, with all its accompanying exuberance, had made homosexuality more visible in Mulhouse. The same thing was happening in certain neighbourhoods of big cities, like Saint-Germain-des-Près in Paris. In my town, the grand-bourgeois homosexuals had all returned. They appeared not to have suffered under the occupation. (Seel 91)

What Seel is describing is a display of the difference in class and how you were treated as such. It is not known if being of a higher class could be used to drive the Gestapo away or if they just had the money to be able to go into hiding. But it appears from Seel’s perspective that if you were middle or lower class then it was easy to be singled out by the occupation forces and interrogated. This appears to be a cruel irony considering that the upper classes were the ones that tended to fight the occupation the most and used their social and class power to induce Seel and his friends to run secret messages around to the French resistance. Seel recounts,

Occasionally, without a word of explanation, our solid bourgeois homosexuals asked us, the younger ones, to do them a favour-which usually meant carrying a message to someone of other. We likewise mailed mysterious letters for them at the railroad station. (Seel 23)

These errands for the upper class lead eventually to Seel’s capture.

In conclusion, homosexuals in Nazi Germany were treated in different ways to other minorities but were also treated the same. Separation from family and torture in prison camps bound the minorities together. But they were not forced to be conscripted into the German army and subsequently kill innocent people, which some (including me) believe is a worse form of torture rather than the bliss of death that was eventually offered to the Jewish and Gypsies. Based on Seels recount of his life during the German occupation and world war II we can conclude that homosexuals lived a difficult and mind destroying life amongst the Germans only being shown compassion when they bowed to their masters or became the happy victims of corruption.



Hancock, Eleanor. ‘“Only the Real, the True, the Masculine Held It’s Value”: Ernst Röhm, Masculinity, and Male Homosexuality.’, in Journal of the History of Sexuality. Vol. 8, No. 4 (Apr. 1998) P.616-641. University of Texas Press. Veiwed 15/05/2013 (URL:

Kaplan, Marion A. Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany. Oxford University Press USA, 1999.

Seel, Pierre. I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual. Perseus Book LLC, 2011

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