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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Listening Lesson Practices in the Elementary General Music Classroom: A Mixed Method Approach
by Brown, Debra Rae, Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2016, 168; 10139238
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of the study was to examine elementary general music teachers’ listening lesson practices in kindergarten through sixth grade using a mixed-method research design. The listening lesson practices were investigated by musical genres used and by curricular application of the music. The belief system for the role of listening lessons in the curriculum was examined as well as materials and technology used to teach the lessons. Finally, the frequency and duration of the lessons were investigated. Two phases of research were implemented using an explanatory sequential mixed methods design (Creswell, 2014). The first phase consisted of an online survey distributed to all NAfME members in the Midwest identifying as elementary general music teachers ( n = 4,432). The second phase followed, that consisted of personal interviews with Midwestern elementary general music teachers (n = 6). Data from the survey questions were analyzed through percentages and frequency counts. From the survey data, the open-ended questions for the interviews were constructed. The interview participants were distributed evenly in three locales, two rural, two suburban, and two urban. They lived in three different Midwestern states and worked in six different districts. Each phase-two participant was interviewed twice for about 30 minutes. The researcher transcribed all interviews and coded them using Gilligan’s listening guide (Gilligan, Spencer, Weinberg, & Bertsch, 2006). Results indicated the participants integrated listening lessons into their instruction regularly. Though they used listening lessons to teach biographical, historical, and/or cultural aspects of music, they showed a preference for listening lessons integrated with musical element concepts such as timbre, form, rhythm, meter, melody, harmony, texture, tempo, and/or dynamics. Participants used a variety of materials to teach the lessons, which included published as well as participant-generated resources. Technologies used to present the music included digital recordings, images, and various video materials viewed on a monitor or projected. Participants felt that listening lessons supported curricular goals for singing and playing skills, music literacy, and creating music. The lessons were also connected to teaching about performers, composers, historical topics, and cultural music. Participants indicated that most used 11-30% of their class sessions teaching listening lessons. Younger children had lessons of shorter duration. The duration did not generally affect the frequency of lessons; however, the topic, for example form, sometimes affected the duration. Participants incorporated listening lessons for four reasons; (a) as exposure to music genres, (b) to reinforce or introduce musical concepts, (c) to aid in classroom management, (d) as an expectation of the profession. Recommendations and implications were discussed in connection to these results.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hedden, Debra G.
Commitee: Colwell, Cynthia, Dakon, Jacob, Johnson, Christopher, Murphy, Scott
School: University of Kansas
Department: Music Education & Music Therapy
School Location: United States -- Kansas
Source: DAI-A 77/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music education
Keywords: Curriculum, Educator beliefs, General music, Listening lessons
Publication Number: 10139238
ISBN: 978-1-339-94735-8
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