This will serve as my Blog away from Boston until class starts up again.

I am writing to try to determine my dissertation topic via research questions and perspectives.

I am interested in skills/traits/ or qualities that students take away from their high school band experience.  I suspect that they may not always be musical in nature, and more importantly, they may be more important to the student than any musical learning they may accrue during their time in HS.

O’Neill touches on several of these ideas in her 2015 article “Transformative Music engagement and musical flourishing”.  Transformative Music engagement (TME) serves an orientation to research.  It serves to:

  • help understand youth perspectives on what initiates and sustains their involvement in music activities (p. 606)
  • Generativity
  • positive youth development
  • growth and transformation over “banking”
  • address the potential of learners
  • help youth develop a sense of place (p. 607)

In total, O’Neill has tried to develop a “sense of coherence” (p. 607) that ties TME and musical flourishing together.  Ideas of diversity, generativity, and youth as musical resource (to be developed, not fixed)

As a theoretical framework, TME focuses on

  • fostering agentive learning ecologies
  • integrating actions or dialogical encounter in multiple learning spaces
  • aligns learnercentered approaches to enhance young musicians’ strengths and potential for music engagement.

TOUCHSTONE!!!! TME recognizes the need for establishing partnerships and interactive links between researchers, practioners, educators, and learners in order to increase understanding of youth perspective.

Music learners should be active participators in their construction of knowledge through meaningful participation (p. 610).

RESEARCH QUESTION???  We need a better understanding of the multiple pathways through which youth are actively engaged in music learning in ways that foster meaningful, positive, and enduring transformation if we are to challenge narrow conception and optimize music learning in generalized education.

How do we understand what meaning students derive from their participation in band (marching band)?  What do student take away from that experience and how do they construct that knowledge?

How can the use of TME perspective in the observation of the culture of marching band help researchers and students see the “threads” that connect their involvement with other aspects of their life (present and future).

How does a student’s level of engagement effect their interest in band participation?


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