Enjoy Playing! Introducing a new technology-based together playing approach to complement traditional teaching in music schools: A study of an audio supported practice aid for first and second grade string instrument students

Pirkko Juntunen

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    This thesis introduces and explores a new aural based approach for play-together education of first- and second-grade string instrument students in music school. The research problems are to create a music technology based teaching method and to study violin and play-together learning in the context of music technological applications. The theoretical background is based on new learning environments, blended learning and flipped classroom in music education. In this recent method, Playback Orchestra, the students practice their part with the support of an audio of the full score, in most cases the playback of a notation program. Hearing the audio supports learning the harmony, rhythm, and dynamic changes. The learning situation is a kind of a virtual play-together rehearsal: it is essential that playing continues without stopping at mistakes, which are corrected afterwards. The method is a learning by doing approach and the flow-like practicing strategy develops flexibility, which is essential in play-together situations. The Playback Orchestra method was tested with first (N=10) and second (N=4) grade string instrument students of a music school with a quasi-experimental study design. The test group (playback group) practiced a score with the support of an audio and the control group (no playback group) without it. The aim was to find out if there were differences between study groups in learning. The first research question was: which playing skills possibly benefit from the audio background, the performance as a whole, understanding the atmosphere, style and general structure of the music, right and left hand technique, reading the score, or play-together skills. The second research question was concerned with learning improvisation: does the audio background support starting the improvisation decisively, continuing it intensively and logically, finding and maintaining the flow and atmosphere, finding own ideas and showing independence and joy of playing, using relaxed movements and creating a general structure in the improvisation. Two professional violin teachers evaluated the play performances from video before and after a practice period and the quantitative analysis was made with SPSS 22 using general linear model and linear mixed model, which can be applied for small study groups. The results showed that when the piece of music to be learned was a main melody of a chamber music composition, the playback group had learned faster than the other group essential features connected with understanding the musical content: the style and atmosphere and the general structure of the music. The playback group had learned musical communication and leading a group by playing better than the no playback group. This finding was significant in large numbers. Concerning the instrument specific technique, audio background seemed not to have clear beneficial effects. However, the students learned to use singing bow style when practicing with the support of a CD track from film music better than without it, the difference was significant in large numbers. When the score to be learned was in baroque style, expressing terrace dynamics , an essential feature of the genre, benefited from the audio background in significant numbers. The improvisation study was a by-product when testing the learning of a musical tale with many sections in different keys, playing styles and atmospheres. The improvisation task was to describe storm by playing. The results showed that musical story telling in improvisation passage benefited from practicing the musical tale with the playback support. Because the study groups were small, the results cannot be widely generalised. However, the aural based approach seems to create a good basis for learning deep understanding of musical content. Further, because learning is fast, using the Playback Orchestra method makes possible for instrument teachers to create well-working play-together culture with large repertoires. The pedagogy of music institutions at its best includes both traditional and new learning environments, such as blended learning. New technological applications can benefit playing and play-together skills and lead to richer musical expression and joy of playing. More research and open-mindedness is needed in order to the new ways of thinking, using and developing new tools could be included in the curricula of music institutions. In this way using the traditional methods together with new approaches the appreciated Finnish music education system can develop and offer even better quality of education.
    Originalspråkengelska
    Tilldelande institution
    • Helsingfors universitet
    Handledare
    • Ruokonen, Inkeri, Handledare
    • Ruismäki, Heikki, Handledare
    Tilldelningsdatum23 sep 2016
    UtgivningsortHelsinki
    Förlag
    Tryckta ISBN978-951-51-2120-2
    Elektroniska ISBN978-951-51-2121-9
    StatusPublicerad - 23 sep 2016
    MoE-publikationstypG5 Doktorsavhandling (artikel)

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    • 516 Pedagogik

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