Applications of informal music learning and critical pedagogy with eighth-grade general music students: an action research
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To maintain and increase participation in a low-enrollment school music program, in this action research study, I investigated how a change in pedagogy might positively impact the attitudes of students toward music in school. Connecting students' musical preferences with the music they learn in school might afford them the opportunity to engage with and create music that is meaningful to them and might build their selfesteem and confidence. The study involved 17 eighth-grade general music students from a private school in New England. Informal music learning and critical pedagogy provided the pedagogical and theoretical frameworks to foster meaningful musical experiences and fuel motivation to continue in school music. During the study, the students and teacher worked together to design and enact music lessons in keeping with the guiding theoretical frameworks. Data included, questionnaires, video recordings, student-peer interviews, and a researcher journal. Students responded positively to the activities of the study, which indicated that informal music learning and a critical pedagogy viewpoint could yield positive results in the music classroom. While the music department of the school studied has not adopted the teaching model of this study and enrollment in the program continues to decline, many of the study participants have chosen to continue in the program, indicating the lasting impact of the educational approaches utilized in this study.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--Boston University