What happens when a classical music instrument performance course at a Norwegian state university study programme is assessed for quality following a standardized procedure? The article explores frictions and negotiations between managerial quality assurance and classical music performance education in a contextual sense, focusing particularly on the teacher-student relation. I employ my own experience as an instrument performance teacher in a Western Classical Music performance study programme while drawing on state acts, regulations, managerial processes, educational politics, funding, and classical music performance education’s habitus and heritage. I begin by addressing the institution of higher music education in the Norwegian state and relevant funding perspectives. Next, I identify complex relations entailed in recruiting future students, and I address conceptions of quality both from managerial and artistic perspectives as well as from that of persons engaged in quality assessment for the local university. I pursue the student-teacher relationship, focusing on consumer relationships and accountability. Music educators’ professional understandings and the effects of the academization of higher classical music performance education anticipate a discussion identifying some possibilities for future research.
Keywords: quality assurance, higher education, classical music performance, music performance teacher