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Title:The Nature of Children's Musical Learning in the Context of a Music Classroom
Author(s):Wiggins, Jacqueline H.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Boardman, Eunice
Department / Program:Music
Discipline:Music Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Music
Education, Elementary
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to look at the nature of children's musical cognitive processes, the nature of the representation of their musical ideas, the nature of their interactions with music and the nature of their interactions with peers and teacher within the context of a music classroom. The study is an analysis and interpretation of musical decisions and actions of students as they interacted with music (performance, analytical listening, composition and improvisation) within a holistic musical context, with opportunity for interaction with peers and teacher.
This qualitative study was conducted through the eyes of a teacher-researcher in the nonexperimental setting of her own general music classroom. Data were collected in a fifth grade general music class during their regularly scheduled class sessions over a period of five months. In addition to general videotapes of the class sessions, two target children were selected and asked to wear lapel microphones and small tape recorders throughout all of the class sessions. The resultant audio- and videotapes were transcribed and analyzed for what they might show about the nature of the development of the children's musical understanding. Additional data were in the form of interviews with the target children and with their parents, the field notes of the researcher and artifacts from the class sessions.
Findings indicate that in listening, creating and performing, the children tended to evaluate musical ideas against a holistic vision of the final product. In creating, they seemed to work from a preconceived vision of the musical whole rather than from random exploration. They used their evaluative abilities and understanding of the whole to determine when and how peers needed assistance, and then provided the necessary scaffolding. Within this context, the teacher provided scaffolding, acted as expert musician and assessed student progress towards understanding of the whole. As they worked within the expressive whole, the children expressed and communicated their musical ideas to peers, teachers and to themselves through verbal and non-verbal statements, singing, instrumental performance, gesture and graphic representation. A key issue was the interactional relationship among all of the findings within the whole of the classroom music experience.
Issue Date:1993
Description:318 p.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1993.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9305731
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:1993

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