Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A case study on the importance and value of the Desert Winds steelpan programs
by Haskett, Brandon Lee, D.M.A., Arizona State University, 2009, 227; 3361302
Abstract (Summary)

This study describes the steel band program at Desert Winds Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona. The steel band program began in 1978, and the study documents the development of the program from its first year through 2008. During the first thirty years of its existence, the program included a student ensemble, introduction to steel pans in general music classes, and two adult community ensembles—one that existed from 1984 to 1988, and one that existed from 1997 until the time of this study. The study examines the value and importance of the steel band ensembles for their participants and addresses issues regarding steel band ensembles in public schools and in adult education. Data were collected through observations of the student ensemble and general music classes, observations of and participation in the second adult ensemble, interviews with alumni of the student ensemble as well as past and current members of the adult ensembles, an open-ended series of written questions provided to current members of the student ensemble, and interviews with the director and various school personnel. Archival data provided by the director and past members included audio, video, and digital recordings of both student and adult ensembles, programs, photographs, and other materials. Data were coded and analyzed for themes related to the research questions and the literature review, as well as for emergent themes.

Descriptive chapters portray the development of the program at Desert Winds Elementary School, the pedagogy developed by the director, and the history of the adult community ensembles. The director, Jerry Lopatin, his background in steelpan traditions, his use of aural-oral transmission models with self-designed modified lead and chord charts, and his pedagogical expertise contributed to the success of the ensembles. Participants in both the student and adult ensembles noted the importance of socialization and teamwork, quick musical success through effective pedagogy, the therapeutic effects of the ensembles, and the leadership qualities of the director. These themes are used to provide curricular and pedagogical recommendations to the field of music education and the steel band community.

Indexing (document details)
School: Arizona State University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Adult education, Music education
Keywords: Arizona, Desert Winds Elementary School, Music education, Music pedagogy, Steel band, Steelband, Steelpan, World music
Publication Number: 3361302
ISBN: 978-1-109-19483-8
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