Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Song of your voices: Violin performance major students' perceptions of their lives in violin learning from childhood to the music schools in New York City
by Su, Linya, Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, 2013, 391; 3588616
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this heuristic study was to explore and describe conservatory-trained violin performance major students' perceptions of their lived experience in violin learning from childhood to the music schools in New York City. The seven participants were undergraduate, graduate-level violin major students selected from the three major music schools in New York City. The primary data was collected via face-to-face audiotaped interviews, which became the narrative data.

The first question addressed students' perceptions of one-to-one violin instruction regarding expectations and values. The findings suggested that (1) autonomous thinking, boosted confidence, and transcultural learning were invaluable gains from instruction; (2) a reciprocal relationship existed between the amount of new ideas gained and one's performance outcome in lessons, which connoted students' recognition of self-responsibility in determining the quality of lessons; and (3) an ideal teacher encourages independent thinking, provides honest feedback, and respects students' individuality.

The second question asked students' perceptions toward power relationship and degree of autonomy in decision-making. The findings suggested that (1) interpretive demands seemed to cause a stronger impact to student-autonomy when compared to repertoire and technique-related demands; and (2) students adopted different reactive patterns and conflict management strategies to deal with conflicts and power struggle in the violin studio.

The third question explored students' perceptions toward the helpfulness of other courses to violin performance. The findings suggested that while all students were adept at independent learning, some students reported music theory/history courses were helpful in empowering interpretive/performance autonomy.

The last question investigated students' perceptions toward the interrelationships among self, music, violin performance, and culture. The findings suggested that (1) students' self-concept of ability in violin playing might be correlated with degree of autonomy and self-perceived technical competency; (2) the meaning of violin performance was to attain self-fulfillment in two domains: personal and social; and (3) performance autonomy might be circumscribed by socio-cultural expectation and economic condition.

This study implies that students' continued participation in violin learning might be influenced by economic concern, competitive environment, and self-concept of ability in violin playing. Violin teachers may need to help students maintain a sound professional development.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Abeles, Harold
Commitee: Goffi-Fynn, Jeanne, Manning, Dwight, Recchia, Susan
School: Teachers College, Columbia University
Department: Arts and Humanities
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Music education, Educational psychology
Keywords: Autonomy, Critical theory and pedagogy, New York City, One-to-one violin instruction in schools of music and music conservatories, Power relations, Praxis, Self-concept of ability in violin playing
Publication Number: 3588616
ISBN: 9781303268137
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