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Title:Memorization in trumpet pedagogy: A qualitative case study of its integration in the college-level applied studio
Author(s):Reichenbach, Brian W.
Director of Research:Barrett, Janet R.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Romm, Ronald
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Daval, Charles; Tharp, Reynold
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Music pedagogy
Case study
Higher education
Jens Lindemann
Terry Everson
Music performance
Trumpet performance
Undergraduate music study
Graduate music study
Wind instruments
Instrumental pedagogy
Instrumental performance
Abstract:Memorization is an important component in the education of many classical musicians, but it is infrequently addressed in pedagogical literature for trumpet players. Furthermore, the area of memorization has undergone very little systematic investigation in the pedagogy of trumpeters and others for whom notation is almost exclusively relied upon in formal education. This study employed qualitative instrumental case study methods in order to describe the teaching and learning of memorization in the studios at Boston University (BU) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). These studios under the leadership of Terry Everson (BU) and Jens Lindemann (UCLA) were purposefully selected based upon the teachers’ reputations for performing from memory as well as their use of memorization within their teaching. The scarcity of literature on memorization suggests that it may rarely be an intentional part of trumpet pedagogy, even while performing from memory has been and is currently practiced by some of the most elite trumpet soloists and chamber ensembles. In an effort to broaden the discussion surrounding memorization, the literature review presents a survey of various interrelated topics from the perspective of music educators, cognitive psychologists, and others. Existing literature demonstrates that emphasis is too often given to the retrieval of memory at the expense of the other two parts of the memorization process: encoding and storage. Framing this study, then, is an understanding of memorization as a process rather than simply an end goal of performance without music. Following a preliminary questionnaire administered to student participants at each site, trumpet lessons were observed and interviews were conducted with the teachers and fifteen student participants. A description of the teaching and learning of memorization within the studios is presented in order to consider what might be gained through the inclusion of memorization and the challenges it presented for both students and teachers. The values, strategies, and practices of teachers passed on in the apprentice-like relationship of the studio and exchanged among students in a community of aspiring musicians are described. The student participants at both sites exhibited a variety of inclinations and attitudes towards memorization, ranging from full embrace to a near complete aversion to the practice. Students at BU reported personal progress in memorization skills while memorization experiences were uneven for students at UCLA. Both teachers and students considered the relationship between anxiety and memorization as well as the role that the studio community may serve in developing such skills. The benefits, challenges, and methods of memorization are discussed, including Everson’s emphasis on aural and analytical strategies for memorization that evolve from a desire for students to know the entire piece, not just the trumpet part. Lindemann’s belief that performing from memory can be a tool for empowering students and effectively communicating with audiences is also described. Several areas of commonality and contrast between the teachers’ performing and teaching philosophies are discussed. Significantly, both teachers believed that memorization could be an important pedagogical tool for overcoming technical challenges, but only the students at BU were consistently required to memorize repertoire. Implications for teaching, practice, and performance are provided along with suggestions for future research.
Issue Date:2017-11-10
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Brian W. Reichenbach
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-03-13
Date Deposited:2017-12

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