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Constructions of Choir Identity in a High School

Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate constructions of choir identity among high school choir students in the United States public school classroom setting. The research questions were (a) what are the processes involved in construction of choir identity and (b) how are the processes related to the group identity of the choir. The data were collected through participant observations in one selected choir classroom and semi-structured interviews with students from the choir class. The results included six processes of identity construction as well as identification of the ways in which each process was related to the choir group’s identity. The processes and their links to the overall choir group identity provided further insight into the ways in which high school choir students construct their identities, and they also supported methods of teaching commonly used in high school choir settings.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Brimhall, Jennifer Pierce

The Effect of Three Compositional Structures on the Compositional and Instructional Self-efficacy of Pre-service Music Teachers

Description: The purpose of this study was two-fold: 1) to compare the effects of three different composition tasks with varying degrees of structure on pre-service music teachers’ creative self-efficacy as composers and their instructional self-efficacy as pedagogues of composition; and 2) to describe through pre-service music teachers’ talk perceptions of composition and their experiences completing the three composition tasks. Participants (N = 29) were music education majors from three different sized universities in the northern-central region of the United States. At the beginning of the study, the participants answered a researcher-design self-efficacy questionnaire that measured (a) their self-efficacy as composers and (b) their self-efficacy as teachers of composition. Next, they composed three compositions of various task structures (unstructured, poem, and rhythm). Immediately after completing each task they again completed the self-efficacy questionnaire. Statistically significant mean differences between the pre-task administration of the measuring instrument and all three composition tasks were found for the pre-service teachers’ compositional self-efficacy. Statistically significant mean differences were also found between the unstructured task and the rhythm task, but not between the rhythm and poem tasks or the unstructured and poem tasks. For the pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy as pedagogues of composition question, the results were also statistically significant between the pre-task administration of the measuring instrument and all three composition tasks. Statistically significant mean differences were also found between the unstructured task and the rhythm task as well as the poem and rhythm tasks, but not between the unstructured and poem tasks. Additional data were gathered through semi-structured one-on-one interviews. Through their talk the pre-service music teachers commented that they enjoyed the overall composition process. This experience also seemed to challenge the participants’ assumptions about composition and appeared to make creative experiences more tenable and relevant to their future classroom experiences. The results of this study suggest ...
Date: August 2012
Creator: Hauser, Christian Vernon

The Effects of Instruction on the Singing Ability of Children Ages 5-11: a Meta-analysis

Description: The purpose of the meta-analysis was to address the varied and somewhat stratified study results within the area of singing ability and instruction by statistically summarizing the data of related studies. An analysis yielded a small overall mean effect size for instruction across 34 studies, 433 unique effects, and 5,497 participants ranging in age from 5- to 11-years old (g = 0.43). The largest overall study effect size across categorical variables included the effects of same and different discrimination techniques on mean score gains. The largest overall effect size across categorical moderator variables included research design: Pretest-posttest 1 group design. Overall mean effects by primary moderator variable ranged from trivial to moderate. Feedback yielded the largest effect regarding teaching condition, 8-year-old children yielded the largest effect regarding age, girls yielded the largest effect regarding gender, the Boardman assessment measure yielded the largest effect regarding measurement instrument, and song accuracy yielded the largest effect regarding measured task. Conclusions address implications for teaching, research pedagogy, and research practice within the field of music education.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Svec, Christina L.

High School Contemporary a Cappella: a Descriptive Phenomenology

Description: This study examines the phenomenon of contemporary a cappella music making found in high school settings as curricular and extra-curricular offerings. Past music and music education literature has focused exclusively on contemporary a cappella at the collegiate level. Through application of a descriptive phenomenological method and incorporation an educational-sociological lens, this study advances an understanding of the educational benefit and social value of membership in contemporary a cappella at the high school level. Six recent members from three regions of the United States provided data through individual open-form interviews in which questions were derived from the participants’ own speech. I incorporated phenomenological reductions and processes to negate researcher bias during data collection, analysis, and the formation of a general structure and constituent meanings of membership in high school contemporary a cappella. Participants utilized traditional music skills, individual talents, conceptions of popular culture and music, and in-group socialization to facilitate music making and reify membership. Expressing the value of group membership, individuals acted to benefit the group by cultivating social bonds, developing and fostering personal/shared connections to songs, identifying and purposing individual talents and skills, and gaining an understanding of each members’ unique contribution to membership. Discussion includes implications for music education and suggestions for future research.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Burlin Sr., Thomas B.

The Measurement of Occupational Identity Among Undergraduate Preservice Music Teachers: a Test Development Study

Description: A large segment of society is either preparing to enter the work force, or is already engaged in some chosen line of work. Preparing to enter the work force takes a considerable amount of time and effort. The decision to follow one career path over countless others may, on the surface, appear to be discretely individual. But when viewed from a sociological perspective, occupational choices are implicitly and explicitly reached through a consensus of contributing factors. Consequently, an occupational identity is not how an individual describes a personal work-related self, but is rather dialectic. It is the merging, albeit, negotiation of viewpoints which causes persons to view themselves in relationship with how others think of them. It is expected that students newly enrolled in music education degree programs will, with time, replace erroneous lay conceptions of music teaching with those presented in curricula and espoused by significant role models. However, the professional socialization process, characteristic of music education degree programs, has not always been successful in transforming students’ personal perspectives of music teaching. This transformation process is critical toward the development of occupational identities that are congruent with school music teaching positions. There has been an established line of research in music education that examines who school music teachers are from a sociological perspective. When pursuing this literature, however, it became evident that, over time, the term identity had been used under many different guises, incorporating mixed perspectives from among the social sciences. The studies that have dealt with occupational identity have done so for different purposes, employing different theories and methodologies. While any of these previous research protocols may be useful for particular purposes, the reality is that the terms identity and occupational identity have become interchangeable. The term identity is sometimes used to denote self-concept or role concept ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Rewolinski, Christine

Middle School Choir Directors’ Perceptions and Applications of Multicultural Music Education

Description: The purpose of this descriptive study was to discover Texas middle school choir directors’ perceptions and applications of multicultural education in their classrooms. Three research questions guided this investigation: (1) What were middle school choir director’s perceptions about multicultural music education?; (2) How did middle school choir directors apply multicultural music pedagogy in their classrooms?; and (3) How did middle school choir directors perceive professional development opportunities in multicultural music education? Texas middle school choir directors perceived that the purpose of multicultural music was to expose students to different cultures and diverse worldviews through music. Teachers listed several social and musical benefits of studying multicultural music including broadening musical horizons, cultural appreciation, and expansion of student worldviews. Teachers consciously programmed multicultural music for most of their concerts, and some chose literature based on their students’ cultural backgrounds. Although most teachers tried to make multicultural music experiences genuine for students, authenticity was the foremost pedagogical concern regarding multicultural music pedagogy. Teachers tended to utilize a combination of music concept and sociocultural approaches when teaching multicultural music by comparing multicultural music to Western music and using classroom discussions to discuss social issues that lend context to the music. Professional development opportunities in multicultural music education were available through the state music organization (TMEA), but rarely at the district or the campus level. Teachers also reported opportunities at the national level for professional development.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Herring, Michelle Limor

Music Career Opportunities and Career Compatibility: Interviews with University Music Faculty Members and Professional Musicians

Description: This study used a semistructured interview schedule to identify the music career opportunities available to students who graduate with an undergraduate music degree, and the skills, interests, work values, and personal characteristics that may determine a person's suitability for these music careers. Six university faculty members from each of the 11 NASM-accredited undergraduate music degree fields participated in the study (n = 66). Fourteen professional musicians who were recommended by these faculty members also participated in the study. Concerning the musical and non-musical skills that may determine a person's suitability for a music career, participants consistently noted the importance of performance skills in their respective fields. Participants also consistently cited people skills, and noted that most musicians interact with people on a daily basis, and use people skills to build social networks that may lead to employment. When asked about the interests that may lead someone to a music career, participants commonly cited the importance of good high school ensemble experiences in students' music career decisions. Concerning the rewarding aspects of music careers, many participants noted that they were more rewarded by the ability to support themselves doing what they loved, than by fame or wealth. Concerning the personal characteristics that may determine music career compatibility, participants noted that tenacity is essential to contend with intense competition, extended periods of unemployment, and other common struggles of professional musicians. When asked about music career opportunities in their respective fields, participants reported numerous music careers, some of which were excluded from previous music career inventories. In addition, participants noted that there may be careers for non-musicians in some music career fields. Participants also noted that some music careers may be listed in more than one music career field, creating potential confusion for music career advisors. Finally, participants noted transitions in many music ...
Date: May 2010
Creator: Branscome, Eric E.

Resilience Among High Achievers In An Instrumental Music Program

Description: Positive adaptations experienced in spite of challenges faced is known as resilience. Comparatively little research has focused on in-depth descriptions regarding how resilience is manifested in children. The purpose of this study was to add to previous research in the identification of characteristics of resilience in students, and to determine the extent to which band membership has aided their resilience in other domains. Data was collected from a random sample of band seniors from the class of 2011 (n = 3) who attended a large high school in the South. Specific research questions were: (1) What characteristics of resilience are present in the talk of participants in a high school instrumental music program? (2) To what extent has this population perceived that membership in band aided their resilience in other domains? A descriptive study design was chosen that used qualitative data. Following data analysis that included category matrices, prominent themes emerged from the participants’ responses. These included self-improvement, forward thinking, optimism, inner drive, increased achievement, determination, development of relationships to peers and adult mentors, and development of connectedness to the school. The findings of this study complemented previous research on characteristics of resilient students, and suggested that the participants derived positive benefits from group membership and from positively contributing to the school. Recommendations based on these findings for researchers included the need for resilience to be studied across other subject areas in school, and across different populations of students. Recommendations for teachers and administrators included varied opportunities for extra-curricular and co-curricular student engagement.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Price, Benjamin J.

Teacher Communication in Title I Elementary Music Classrooms: Perceptions of Elementary Music Classroom Teachers

Description: The increasing cultural diversity in the United States has brought not only richness, but also complex challenges, to various segments of American society, particularly with regard to public schools. As the student population continues to diversify while teacher population remains predominately White, female, and middle class, teacher awareness in the classroom might be an integral piece to assist students marginalized by stereotypes in feeling more empowered in the school community. Through qualitative data collection and analysis, and framed by Basil Bernstein’s language code theory, this study explored teachers’ perceptions of how classroom interactions, in light of differences in communication, might impact students of different socio-economic backgrounds from the teacher. The findings of this study indicated that the participants expressed a desire to connect with all of their students, regardless of their background. They also discussed challenges that made relationships difficult, such as feelings of disconnect from their Title I students and their families based on differences in home life and background. This dissonance was often difficult for the participants to reconcile due to pressures and difficulties in their teaching situations, such as the large number of students and the scheduling of classes, curricular pressures, and other district expectations such as after-school ensembles. Implications for practicing music teachers and teacher education include ways to understand students’ communities and rethinking ways of approaching relevant terminology in education.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Mason, Lindsey Lea

Texas Middle School Choral Directors’ Beliefs About Repertoire Selection

Description: Secondary choral directors often demonstrate a wide variety of organizational, instructional, and musical skills to promote and nurture thriving programs. Among the many tasks executed, choosing repertoire might be viewed as one of the most important duties performed. Material chosen for study is often the vehicle through which curricular concepts are taught. Multiple factors might influence middle school choral directors’ beliefs about repertoire choices. Ironically, repertoire choices might or might not reflect educators’ actual teaching philosophies; nevertheless, these decisions could influence student learning. This study surveyed a stratified random sampling of Texas middle school choral directors who participated in the 2010 University Interscholastic League Concert and Sight-reading competition (n = 209). Seventy middle school choral directors participated in the study. Each director took an online survey and indicated the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with 14 statements concerning repertoire choice. Many of the belief statements showed teachers were overwhelmingly in concordance with their beliefs (92.9%). Results indicated that beliefs were similar, regardless of who chose the curriculum or the amount of discussion perceived in undergraduate training. The only belief statement that continually showed differences between teachers concerned students’ ability to vote on repertoire.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Williams Jr., Scott Michael

Toward a Rationale for Music Education in the Public School Context Framed with both Progressive and Essentialist Considerations: Operationalizing the Ideas of William Chandler Bagley

Description: In music education, aesthetic education and praxial music education serve as two major, guiding philosophical frameworks, yet supporters of each often conflict with one another. Furthermore, both are slightly problematic with respect to the specific context of the public school. Each framework is primarily music-based, however, music education has existed in the wider context of general education since the 1830s. Given the recent core-status designation for music education, as part of all fine arts, in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a framework from general education that supported music education could offer benefits for the domain. However, the wider context of general education is messy as well. Two groups occupy most of the space there, and remain locked in a fundamental disagreement over the purpose of a formal education. The progressive educators, historically framed by Dewey and Thorndike, contend that education functions as societal improvement. In contrast, the essentialists contend that education functions as cultural transmission. Therefore, a more specific need for music education involves selecting a framework from general education that resolves this conflict. The writings of William Chandler Bagley indicate that he balanced both considerations of a formal education while also advancing his notion of essentialism. Bagley differed from the progressive educators predominately associated with Dewey over definitions and ideas surrounding a democratic education. Emergent points of contrast with Thorndike include distinctions between social efficiency and Bagley's alternative idea of social progress. Bagley also diverged from other essentialists over definitions concerning liberal and cultural education. To make these viewpoints of Bagley explicit, I describe characteristics of a progressive education, and an essentialist education separately, before introducing Bagley. Finally, I apply Bagley's ideas into the domain of music education. Ultimately, I contend that through common outcomes of creativity, competition, and literacy, the domain of music education ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Price, Benjamin J.