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Title:Enabling young composers through the Vermont MIDI Project: Composition, verbalization and communication
Author(s):Shin, Hae-Kyung
Director of Research:Harwood, Eve E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Harwood, Eve E.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bresler, Liora; Reese, Samuel; Taylor, Stephen A.
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Secondary & Continuing Educ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Music Education
Vermont MIDI Project
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to examine what conditions of a mentoring project enable teachers and students to keep composing and teaching composition in public school music classrooms over time. Using a case study, I explored the extended relationship and reciprocal influences and interactions among the triadic relations of teacher-student-mentor, which I call triads. Within the Vermont MIDI Project, as the primary case, these individual triads constitute three independent mini-cases in my study around two high school teachers and one elementary school teacher. Semi-structured interviews, observations of composition-related courses and the OPUS event, and students’ compositions and mentors’ matching comments were used for data collection. This mentoring project is an example of the cognitive apprenticeship learning paradigm (Collins et al., 1989). The apparent technological limitations on communication in online mentoring afford unique pedagogical benefits for all the participants, including students, teachers, and mentors. In particular, because of the necessity of asynchronous communication, mentors must write in order to comment on students’ compositions. The resulting verbalization served as a powerful pedagogical tool for teachers, as a stimulus to reflection for the student composers, and as a precious data source that makes the process of teaching composition visible for researchers. Developing learner agency was an explicit value and key motivating factor for all participants. There are reciprocally supportive relationships among members of the focal triads in this study. The mutual support the participants provide each other helps sustain their motivation to continue participation in the Vermont MIDI Project. In its practical implementation, this out-sourcing system maintains musical integrity by involving professional artists, at the same time that it utilizes information and computer technologies in ways that overcome limitations of time and space. Thus, this system suggests alternatives that can help teachers outsource skills and knowledge that they find difficult to cover while also helping students to overcome isolated environments for creating music that composers usually encounter. Suggestions for future research and implications for music education are provided.
Issue Date:2011-05-25
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Hae-Kyung Shin
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-25
Date Deposited:2011-05

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