Virginia Music Educators Association, Hot Springs, Virginia.
What can happen when learners choose the musical materials and activities? What possibilities arise when learners are involved in planning? What do students learn from helping teachers plan what goes on in class? What do experiences/concerts look and feel like to learners, teachers, and parents when learner are involved in every step of the process? What roles exist for learners and teacher in these types of classrooms? In this session, we address these questions through presenting examples for actual classrooms and discussing pedagogy and pragmatics to foster student-centered and student-led classrooms.
In the session, Abbie VanKlompenberg will discuss what happened in her experiences in both a 6-8th grade choir as well as in K-5 general music classrooms and the challenges/rewards that she and her students experienced. Jesse Rathgeber discuss his work with elementary school students, in both general music and choral settings, to explore the pedagogy and pragmatics of fostering student-centered and student-led classrooms. Attendees and presenters will collaborate to consider multiple possibilities for helping learners create a place for themselves in the music classroom, and for making the music classroom a home for learners and teacher, alike.
Click here for the handout and supplemental materials
Virginia Music Educators Association, Hot Springs, Virginia.
What types of music learning and making can technology mediate? Come explore answers to this question in this interactive and discussion-based session. You will see example projects that use affordable technologies which encourage inclusive and interdisciplinary student thinking, learning, and making through the use of microcontrollers and coding. You will engage with student technology-based projects and have chances to look under-the-hood as you create your own technology-mediated products. We hope you will leave feeling capable of engaging playfully with students to create projects using technology. To help with this, we offer a wealth of resources including examples, tutorials, and adaptations.
Click here for the digital handout.
Society for Music Teacher Educators Symposium 2017
Councill, K., Edgar, S. N., Eros, J., Fulcher, L., Hariston, M., Hoffman, E. C., Melago, K., Rathgeber, J., Schmidt, M., & Stringham, D. A. (2017, September). Visual representations of music education on music teacher education programs' websites. Poster presented at the Society for Music Teacher Education Symposium, Minneapolis, MN.
ABSTRACT: Prospective music teachers pursue music education careers for many reasons. How do visual representations on music school websites depict our profession? Researchers have documented a lack of visible diversity in music education; existing curricular structures may also contribute to a lack of musical diversity. We are currently conducting a pilot study content analysis examining visual representations of music education on music school websites. We propose a roundtable session to: (a) review relevant literature, (b) summarize our study protocol, (c) present pilot study findings, and (d) facilitate discussion among session participants to further refine our content analysis instrument.
Society for Music Teacher Educators Symposium 2017
Rathgeber, J., Stringham, D. A., Hoye, J., & McNure, J. (2017, September). Imagining possible futures/impacting professional visions: A reflective case study of a community-centric, ukulele-based participatory musicking project . Paper presented at the Society for Music Teacher Education Symposium, Minneapolis, MN.
ABSTRACT: How might music teacher education curricula help music educators think broadly about music teaching and learning beyond P-12 school settings and related practices? In this paper, music education students and professors approach this question through discussion of a community-centric, ukulele-based participatory musicking project. We examined how engagement through this project may have impacted the “focus, range, and distance” (Hammerness, 2003, p. 45) of music teachers’ professional vision. This multi-faceted curricular project was aimed at engaging preservice music educators in community-based, informal, and participatory making and learning that included students: (1) planning and hosting multiple “learn and jam” events targeting different community populations (e.g., university students, faculty, and staff; families with children; persons not engaged by university music programs); (2) investigating and considering participatory musicking in relation to current and emergent musical learning settings and practices (e.g., Randles, Griffis, & Ruiz, 2015; Thibeault, 2013, 2015); and (3) building instruments and investigating maker-based practices (e.g., Thibeault & Evoy, 2011; Bledsoe & Stapleton, 2016). This project was embedded within two undergraduate music education courses in which small groups of students designed, promoted, facilitated, and reflected upon community-based events.
We situate this study as a “reflective case study” modeled after Maclellan’s (2007) adaptation of Stake’s (2003) instrumental case study design. Using Hammerness’ (2003) tripartite conception of professional vision as “focus, range, and distance” as a theoretical tool, we examine the impact of this project upon participants’ professional vision. Two questions guide our inquiry: What meanings do participants ascribe to their experiences in this project? and How might participation in this project impact one’s professional vision? Data for this study were generated via course documents stored in the university’s learning management system, a web-based team communication tool, and reflective dialogues among participating music teacher educators and pre-service music educators. Themes that emerged from the data suggested that participants found the project meaningful: (1) as an exploration of the balance between careful preparation and adaptability in the context of authentic teaching situations, (2) as an opportunity to create a music learning experience that prioritizes enjoyment and connection among both facilitators and learners, and (3) as an opportunity to build new praxial vocabulary. New curricular methods such as experience design constructed a larger skill set of practical tools that participants felt they could utilize in future music teaching opportunities. Participants also noted discovering a widened set of career options through their experience engaging with different P-12 and community settings which suggests an expansion of their professional vision. Findings from this study have multiple implications for music teacher education, including opportunities to: (1) (re)consider how practicum experiences offer opportunities for students to apply both curricular learnings and extracurricular experiences, (2) (re)consider contexts through which curricular content (e.g., lesson planning, beginning instrumental pedagogy) is experienced and taught, and (3) provide spaces in which students can consider varied options for a/vocational music teaching and learning with varied populations.
IMPACT 2017 at New York Universtiy
Rathgeber, J., Stringham, Hoye, J., S., Stapleton, J., Bross, L., Childs, N., Foote, A., Florimonte, I., & Vaughn, E. (2017, August). Making, Participation, and Community: JMUke and Places of Music Learning. Two-Hour interactive session presented at the Interactive Multimedia Performing Arts Collaborative Technology (IMPACT) Conference, New York University, New York, NY.
Description: In this session, faculty and students involved in the JMUke project will: (a) review relevant research literature related to informal and participatory learning as well as the intersection of maker culture and music learning; (b) facilitate a truncated JMUke session in which participants build and play ukuleles; and (c) facilitate a discussion exploring possibilities for integrating participatory and/or community-based experiences into music courses (and other arts-based courses). Throughout, presenters will discuss elements of experience design and social impact related to JMUke project (drawing on data generated at actual JMUke events hosted by students).
At JMU and in the surrounding community, most opportunities for individuals to experience music are presentational in nature. While these may be meaningful experiences for some, the prevalence of presentational music may limit music-making opportunities for community members. Recent research indicates that existing presentational music groups engage only 10-20% of K-12 students nationally, and just 5% of American adults identify as participants in community presentational music making. JMUke, a project funded by a JMU Faculty Senate Mini-Grant, attempts to address this problem by engaging undergraduate music students through using technologies and pedagogical techniques heretofore underrepresented in their pre-service teacher education. Students participating in this project build ukuleles and plan participatory music making/learning events at various locations in the community, addressing various populations (e.g., children, adults, families).
Mountain Lake Colloquium of Teachers of General Music Methods 2017
Rathgeber, J., Showen, A., Stapleton, J. (2017, May). Mapping music from the middle: Rhizomatic conceptions of general music practices. Collaborative paper presented at the Mountain Lake Colloquium for Teachers of General Music Method, Pembroke, VA.
DESCRIPTION: Utilizing Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the rhizome, this session considers how general music teacher educators might construct music making-and-learning experiences that explore multiple possible trajectories rather than predetermined paths.
Mountain Lake Colloquium of Teachers of General Music Methods 2017
Rathgeber, J., Wilson, S., & Cartwright, A. (2017, May). General music across the lifespan: Considering diverse spaces of music learning. Collaborative presented at the Mountain Lake Colloquium of Teachers of General Music Method, Pembroke, VA.
DESCRIPTION: We attempt to consider music learning generally. We explore the music experiences of persons not served by K-12 music education in order to reconceptualize general music teacher education practices.
Stapleton, J., & Rathgeber, J. (2017, May). Inside the sandbox: Learning/playing with music-making technologies. Interactive session presented at the Mountain Lake Colloquium for Teachers of General Music Method, Pembroke, VA.
DESCRIPTION: In this open sandbox session, participants will be encouraged to playfully engage with digital and electronic music-making tools and experiences, as well as discuss possible pedagogical uses of technology-mediated music-making.
Desert Skies Symposium 2017
Rathgeber J., & Mantie, R. (2017, February). A Content Analysis of Agency as Manifest in Preservice Music Educators’ Written Coursework. Paper presented at the Desert Skies Symposium on Music Education Researcher, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
ABSTRACT: Teaching is a multi-faceted activity. In addition to the demands of required content-specific competencies (e.g., “pedagogical content knowledge” (Shulman, 1986)), teachers are expected to act independently and with “vision” (Allsup & Westerlund, 2012; Hammerness, 2003). The capacity for independent action, often described as agency, Jerome Bruner defines as the ability “to be proactive, problem-oriented, attentionally focused, selective, constructional, [and] directed to ends” (Bruner, 1996, p. 93). Though Bruner’s definition of agency applies to all persons, Bruner and other educationalists (e.g., Dewey, 1938) have focused much of their attention upon addressing the conditions that foster and/or limit agentic action within educational settings. Bruner’s definition, while applicable to agency’s broader philosophical associations, is especially germane to education. Education-related discourses have generated several connected constructs, such as identity, self-concept, content mastery, and, notably, self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977), a concept with which agency is often associated (and sometimes conflated).
Music education researchers have investigated agency-related concerns from a variety of perspectives. Self-efficacy beliefs have been researched as a measure preservice teachers’ preparation to teach (Albion, 1999) and as a means of investigating teacher concerns (Mikza & Berg, 2013). Identity studies, such as Bouji (1998), Isbell (2008), and Roberts (1991, 2004), indirectly evoke self-efficacy insofar as they study how identity informs beliefs and actions, and vice-versa. These studies and others (e.g. Brewer, 2009; Bucura, 2013; Haston & Russell, 2012; McLellan, 2014) represent how self-efficacy has been explored, if indirectly, through inspection of identity and socialization of preservice music teachers. Yet, as identity conflict, identity development, and professional socialization have become central concerns of preserivce music teacher research, it appears as if attention to other mechanisms and dimensions of agency have fallen by the wayside, reducing agency to little more than one’s belief about who they are and what they can do. The reduction of agency in this way ignores the complexity of agentic development, potentially diminishing the scope by which music teacher educators conceptualize and help preservice educators to develop their agency as music teachers and as active beings in the world.
Emirbayer and Mische (1998) provide a triadic conception of agency that embraces a complex understanding of human actors engaged in social practices. By envisioning agency as comprising three elements--iteration, projection, and practical evaluation, Emirbayer and Mische offer a theoretical framework potentially useful for better understanding and helping preservice teachers’ agentic development. Rather than reducing agency to issues related to self-efficacy, Emirbayer and Mische’s triadic conception presents a robust image of agency from a temporal perspective. Agency, they claim, is not simply action, but rather a complex interplay of past, present, and future orientations of thought and action.
The purpose of this study was to examine facets of agentic thinking as evidenced in the written coursework for an introduction to music education class. Using the conceptual framework of Emirbayer and Mische (1998), we used QDA Miner software to analyze text-based artifacts from two cohorts of students (N = 66). Following practices of content analysis (Krippendorf, 2003), we developed categorization dictionaries for each agentic element (iteration, projection, and practical evaluation) based upon a literature review of music education teacher development research placed in dialogue with the responses of the undergraduates. Using these dictionaries and selected demographic variables (i.e. identified gender, year in school, major, in/out of state residency status, and instrument), we sought to identify patterns and relationships in the agentic language used in student assignment responses. Through this analysis we provide an account of the complexity of agency and agentic development of undergraduate music education students.
Preliminary analysis suggests that, as expected (but also in validating our categorization dictionaries), course prompts and assignment requirements impacted the specific agentic triadic element language preservice music educators exhibited in their responses. For example, practical evaluation indicators occurred more frequently in teaching reflection assignments. Overall, agency vocabulary increased from the beginning to the end of the semesters for both cohorts, suggesting the possibility of a growing sense of teacher agency. Agentic language usage demonstrated subtle differences based on gender, and to some extent academic major, with music performance/music education double or non-music education majors exhibiting higher percentages of agentic vocabulary.
The development of agency in its fullest sense may allow individuals to “loosen [themselves] from past patterns of interaction and reframe their relationship to existing constraints” (Emirbayer & Mische, 1998, p. 1010). A richer grasp of agency can inform the practices of music teacher educators as they endeavor to not only help preservice music educators prepare to be competent and independent teachers, but also to empower preservice music educators to be innovative and responsive in-service music educators. Although the written manifestations of agentic thinking are not to be confused with agency itself, they nevertheless provide a powerful window into the thinking of preservice teachers. Based on the results of our study we offer suggestions to assist music teacher educators better understand and stimulate preservice music educators’ agentic development.
Albion, P. (1999). Self-efficacy beliefs as an indicator of teachers' preparedness for teaching with technology. In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE 1999) (pp. 1602-1608). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Allsup, R. E., & Westerlund, H. (2012). Methods and situational ethics in music education. Action, Criticism & Theory for Music Education, 11(1), 124-148
Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological review, 84(2), 191-215.
Bandura, A. (1982). Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency. American psychologist, 37(2), 122-147.
Bouji, C. (1998). Swedish music teachers in training and professional life. International Journal of Music Education, 32, 24-31.
Brewer, W. D. (2009). Conceptions of effective teaching and role-identity development among preservice music educators. (Doctoral dissertation, Arizona State University). Retrieved from ProQuest. 3361859.
Bruner, J. (1996). The culture of education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Bucura, E. (2013). A social phenomenological investigation of music teachers' senses of self, place, and practice (Doctoral dissertation, Arizona State University).
Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. New York: MacMillan Company.
Emirbayer, M., & Mische, A. (1998). What is agency? American Journal of Sociology, 103(4), 962-1023.
Hammerness, K. (2003). Learning to hope, or hoping to learn?: The role of vision in the early professional lives of teachers. Journal of Teacher Education, 54(1), 42-56.
Haston, W., & Russell, J. A. (2012). Turning into teachers: Influences of authentic context learning experiences on occupational identity development of preservice music teachers. Journal of Research in Music Education, 59(4), 369-392.
Isbell, D. (2008). Musicians and teachers: The socialization and occupational identity of preservice music teachers. Journal of Research in Music Education, 56(2), 162-178.
McClellan, E. (2014). Undergraduate music education major identity formation in that university music department. Action, Criticism & Theory for Music Education, 13(1), 279-309.
Miksza, P., & Berg, M. H. (2013). A longitudinal study of preservice music teacher development: Application and advancement of the Fuller and Bown teacher-concerns model. Journal of Research in Music Education, 61(1), 44-62.
Roberts, B. (1991). Music teacher education as identity construction. International Journal of Music Education, 18(1), pp. 30-39.
Roberts, B. (2004). Who’s in the mirror?: Issues surrounding the identity construction in music educators. Mayday Group, Action for Change in Education, 3(2), pp. 2-42.
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