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Title:Using the expressive arts to facilitate group music improvisation and individual reflection: expanding consciousness in music learning for self-development
Author(s):Smith, Tawnya
Director of Research:Bresler, Liora
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Bresler, Liora
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Nichols, Jeananne B.; Parsons, Marilyn A.; Kellman, Julia; McNiff, Shaun
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):music learning
expressive arts
musical improvisation
integral theory
music performance anxiety
Abstract:This study examines the convergence of music learning and the expressive arts as a means to create a balance between internal and external ways of knowing. As external ways of knowing have traditionally been privileged in education and music education, this research explores the participatory practice of free musical improvisation coupled with reflective art response as a means for individuals to create self-knowledge and cultivate self-referential awareness. Drawing upon integral theory (Wilber, 2000a, 2000b), this research is concerned with aspects of internal music learning, internal knowledge, and the benefits of including it in the curriculum. It is also concerned with determining ways that the arts might support internal learning. This qualitative and art-based study draws upon case study, formative, and action research traditions, as well as art-based approaches. A workshop series consisting of four two-hour sessions was designed specifically for this study to explore free musical improvisation and art response with six participants who self-identified as having music performance anxiety. These participant researchers engaged in study of their internal experience through free musical improvisation, followed by journal writing, art response during the playback of improvisations, and group discussions. The participants learned to identify self-referents and expand their conscious awareness of inner dialogue, emotions, and physical sensations during music making. The participants were able to use this expanded awareness to redirect their focus from self-conscious thoughts to more non-judgmental or creative states that allowed them to better connect to their musical voice, identify underdeveloped skills, and learn how to communicate more effectively with others musically. Internalized fear-based motivation was identified as a barrier to effective musical communication during improvisations, and worldview emerged as an important indicator of how individuals interpreted their musical experiences.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Tawnya Dee Smith
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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