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Type: Thesis
Title: Improving Student Engagement in School Music Ensemble Programs
Author: Oulton, Matthew John
Issue Date: 2018
School/Discipline: School of Education
Abstract: During recent decades, low enrolment numbers in high school music programs have been an ongoing issue in Australian schools, particularly in the senior years. Co-curricular ensemble programs provide music students with a practical and social outlet which complements their formal music education. This dissertation explores student engagement in high school cocurricular ensembles through the use of a qualitative methodology associated with Merriam (1988) and examines pedagogical methods of improving engagement and motivation within this setting. It also seeks to find a connection between student participation in co-curricular ensembles and enrolment numbers for classroom music subjects, particularly in the senior years of high school. A thorough literature review was conducted applying Framework Analysis from a constructivist perspective. This review investigates the relationship that adolescents have with music, both inside and outside of school. It outlines pedagogical approaches that relate to the conductors use of authority, task design, and evaluation in controlling the social dynamic of the ensemble to encourage an autonomous learning environment, dissuade social comparison, and enhance self-efficacy within students. Engagement is defined within the setting of Australian education using Fredricks, Blumenfeld & Paris’ (2004) framework of student engagement. Other key themes of the literature review include conductor teaching behaviours, staffing, repertoire selection, and the relationship between co-curricular ensembles and classroom music. Data was collected from Scotch College Adelaide and examined in an attempt to find a relationship between participation in co-curricular music ensembles and enrolment numbers in classroom music. Conclusions emphasise the role of the conductor in facilitating cognitive, emotional, and behavioural engagement within the ensemble. Desirable conductor behaviours include structuring rehearsals to include a variety of diverse tasks which follow complete teaching cycles, giving students opportunities to develop responsibility and independence within the ensemble, allowing for greater amounts time spent on student response, and providing students with process-oriented feedback to assist them in setting achievable short-term goals. The key output from this research is the development of a model of student engagement and motivation in an ensemble setting. This model combines various frameworks and models of student engagement, motivation, and social antecedents with instructional strategies specific to the context of ensemble music. The final product is an easy to follow diagram intended for ensemble conductors and supporting staff which depicts desirable approaches to ensemble education with the goal of higher self-efficacy and self-perception amongst students, leading to musical excellence.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (MTeach) -- University of Adelaide, School of Education, 2018
Description: This item is only available electronically.
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the author of this thesis and do not wish it to be made publicly available, or you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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