Two principles were kept in mind when approaching the pedagogical position of our Autoethnographic bootcamp. Firstly, that the journey taken through the Lab would be one the main instructors have also experienced and shared amongst themselves. Secondly, that the staff would function as a team during the week, not as individual teachers sharing specialized knowledge presented in lecture formats. Considering the first principle, the methods, organization of themes, pedagogical format, and spaces used were all tested out on our instructors before transitioning any themes or ideas to our actual lab. Our team met frequently to discuss our plans and experiences in an effort to put ourselves through the same bootcamp we would be recommending to other artistic researchers. By the time our Lab occurred our team was able to share our journey, our own personal experiences with Autoethnography, as a way of communicating. The nature of the knowledge sought in this Lab is centered around one’s individual identity and/or culture, it would be counterintuitive for any individual teacher or lecturer to assume the kind of subjective information which may be revealed to the participant while engaging with an exercise. However, if having travelled down a path many times oneself, the teacher is more readily available to help guide the participants, revealing points of interest and/or possible errors in understanding/applying a method. Regarding the second point, it was important for our lab to present ourselves as a cohesive educational team. This meant that those who designed the Lab were not only the individuals who had already experienced many of the exercises, but were also the guides throughout the weeklong process. All instructors participated daily, were available for individual discussions throughout the week, and collaborated openly and freely in group formats. We believe it is important from a pedagogical standpoint that teaching staff members are all on the same page, agree with the general educational direction of the lab, and feel they have personally contributed to the outcome.
Additionally, we wanted our participants to experience the collaborative nature of a cohesive team. One of the necessary skill sets for maintaining a career in music is the ability to create synergy across groups of individuals. This is evident in terms of the actual discipline of music when considering orchestras and ensembles, but should be further considered beyond just the scope of music making practices. In contemporary times, careers in the arts require the ability to work alongside curators, producers, managers, funding bodies and disciplines outside of one’s own area of expertise. When considering pedagogical approaches in artistic research, young artist should be presented with clear examples for what successful team structures could look like as part of their educational environment. For our team, this was not only about sharing approaches for successful team work, but actually embodying them inside our own teaching stuff to ensure that students have a first hand experience of a functioning team orientated towards achieving a shared goal.