The aural skills acquisition process of undergraduate electroacoustic (EA) music majors in the context of a new aural learning method
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Electroacoustic (EA) musicians require aural skills that exist beyond tonality and meter; however, specialized ear training courses for EA music are rare in university and college music programs that offer EA studies (EaSt) in their curricula. Since 2005, this researcher has been developing and teaching EA aural training at a Canadian university in that was inspired by concepts from Auditory Scene Analysis (ASA) studies, primarily integration and segregation. In the 2009/10 academic year, the researcher conducted an action study with his intact EA aural training class of 25 first year undergraduate students majoring in EaSt for the purposes of better understanding and improving the students' aural skill acquisition process. and of refining the teaching and learning sequence. The action study was organized into four cycles of observation, critical reflection, and action, and focused on optimizing and autonomizing the skill acquisition process within the large, varied group. Actions were designed in response to critical reflection on emerging problems, evaluations of students' views about the process, their moods and attitudes, and measurements of students' achievements-with specific attention to eight EA-oriented skills and seven tonal and metric skills. Qualitative and quantitative data gathered from questionnaires, in-class surveys and tests, homework, and competence tests provided evidence of skill acquisition, primarily in loudness discrimination, timbral discrimination, tonal awareness, interval discrimination, meter discrimination, and descriptive ability. The most notable emerging problems in the skill acquisition process were related to the group's variety of ability levels, including imbalances in difficulty levels, in students' level of interest in the activities, and in the all-inclusive effectiveness of the training. The main transformational aspects of the action study were autonomization of the skill acquisition process at home through weekly reflective practice reports and developing a cooperative learning environment in the classroom through regular in-class discussion.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--Boston University