Agreeing on a “single, philosophical position to support music education” (Bowman, 1994) appears to be a distinct and ongoing educational battle in the United States. A continuing debate among administrators, parents, music teachers, and educational policy makers about the benefits of music education in school versus the costs, time, and resources it requires has yielded copious amounts of advocacy and action efforts. This paper describes a study of middle school students' perspectives on participating in school band and orchestra. Through student interviews and observations, themes emerged about participating in band or orchestra in school. The findings of this study indicate that students participating in school music: 1.) like band and orchestra the most because of the intrinsic gratification of learning that they feel through their own personal accomplishments; 2.) find the classes to be challenging yet enjoyable school subjects; 3.) can independently identify a need for teamwork and actively chose to team while learning; 4.) it was easy to make friends, keep friends, and find band and orchestra classes are a place where they felt they could belong in school; 5.) feel participating in band and orchestra group learning is safe, comfortable, and fun; and 6.) enjoy exploring and making their own choices while learning in a challenging yet enjoyable school subject. Implications for music education, advocacy, and research are discussed.
UNiversity of Minnesota M.A. thesis. May 2012. Major: Educational policy and administration. Advisor: Dr. Peter Demerath. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 80 pages, appendices 1-7.
McCorkell, Stephanie M..
“Tuba buddies,” triumphs, and teamwork: meaningful learning and accomplishment in school band and orchestra..
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