Socio-musical connections and teacher identity development in a university methods course and community youth symphony partnership
Hendricks, Karin S.
Hicks, Ann M.
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CitationKarin S. Hendricks, Ann M. Hicks. 2016. "Socio-Musical Connections and Teacher Identity Development in a University Methods Course and Community Youth Symphony Partnership." String Research Journal, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp. 99 - 116.
In this article we describe the experiences of nine preservice music teachers enrolled in the first semester of a newly designed instrumental methods course in which a traditional lecture format was replaced with experiential, student-driven, service-oriented activities. Students were entrusted with organizing and directing a community youth symphony, including sharing of teaching and all administrative responsibilities (e.g., recruiting, fundraising, repertoire selection, community outreach). While the first author was the professor and designer of the course, the second author acted as an outside observer, collecting data through rehearsal observations, student interviews, and study of course artifacts. Findings suggest that students benefitted from opportunities to observe and collaborate with the professor and classmates in real-world teaching settings. Furthermore, students demonstrated evidence of growth and maturation over the course of the semester in teaching skills, professional identity, and socio-musical connections. The article closes with a description of how student recommendations for course improvement were implemented in subsequent semesters.