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Title:Fostering Creative and Critical Thinking in a Beginning Instrumental Music Class
Author(s):Priest, Thomas Lloyd
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Boardman, Eunice
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of an instructional approach for beginning instrumentalists designed to foster their creative and critical thinking skills while functioning as listeners, performers, and composers. Research questions focused on the extent to which the students in the experimental group could demonstrate growth in understanding musical structure through descriptive analysis, performance, improvisation, and composition. The musical achievement of students in the experimental group was compared with the musical achievement of students in two control groups. Participants included 55 fifth grade students enrolled in public school band classes. A class of flute-percussion students was randomly selected as the experimental group. Control groups included a clarinet-saxophone class and a trumpet-trombone class. The experimental group participated in a ten-week treatment that included: (a) analysis and description of music that was heard, seen, or performed, (b) playing music by ear, (c) composition and improvisation, (d) translating traditional notation into sound, and (e) developing strategies for examining the effectiveness of various technical skills. Data collected from the experimental group included creative products in the form of audio tapes and musical analyses in the form of drawings or verbal descriptions. A journal was maintained by the researcher throughout the experiment providing a description of classroom experiences. Creative products were analyzed using a consensual creativity assessment of convergent and divergent factors. All participants completed a posttest which included: (a) playing a prepared piece, (b) sight-reading, (c) playing-by-ear, and (d) improvising. Students from the experimental group generally performed better than students in the control groups on the playing-by-ear and improvisation sections of the posttest. In their improvisation, the experimental subjects were generally more elaborate and more likely to employ a tonal center. The experimental group did not perform as well on both music reading sections of the posttest as the clarinet-saxophone control, but they did perform better than the trumpet-trombone control on the sight-reading section. All participants completed two attitudinal surveys at the end of the treatment.
Issue Date:1997
Description:308 p.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9812743
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1997

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