Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Fine Arts

Department

Music

First Advisor

Dr. David Sogin

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effectiveness of cooperative learning as a rehearsal technique on high school full-band performance compared to traditional rehearsal methods. Two intact high school bands from the same Kentucky Music Educators Association District participated in the study. One band served as the treatment group using cooperative learning rehearsal techniques and the other group served as the control group using traditional rehearsal methods in a quasi-experimental non-equivalent control group design.

The study spanned six weeks in which both schools prepared the same performance piece, Variants by Jack Bullock. The groups were pre-tested using a recording of their recent Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) concert festival performance to ensure no statistically significant difference existed in performance ability. The bands rehearsed the study piece for 15-20 minutes two times per week for a total of 12 rehearsals. The bands were also asked to play a researcher-composed warm-up prior to each rehearsal of the performance piece. At the end of the study, the groups recorded final performances of the piece and the warm-up.

The full-band performances were measured using the Performance Evaluation Form. Recordings of all tests were sent to four independent judges for evaluation. Statistically significant differences were found between the two groups on both post-test recordings, with the treatment group scoring higher than the control group. Additionally, the within-group comparisons resulted in statistically significant differences for both groups. The treatment group scored higher on the study piece than the pre-test while the control group scored lower on the study piece than their pre-test.

Descriptive and qualitative data were gathered on student self-assessment of performance and the implementation of cooperative learning into high school band. Results indicate that students in the cooperative learning treatment group varied greatly in ability to self-assess and that those abilities progressed over time. Students also engaged in the learning activities in a variety of ways. Factors that must be taken into consideration when implementing cooperative learning in a high school ensemble include the structure of the cooperative activities, the role of the band director, and the usage of time.

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