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Michigan Music Conference Research: 2016

Research events at the 2016 Michigan Music Conference included a number of excellent pa- pers presentations, roundtable discussions of research in progress, and posters of completed studies and literature reviews. Thank you to all who submitted their work and to this year’s par- ticipants. Thank you also to Dr. Colleen Conway for her symposium keynote address; submission reviewers Alan Gumm (Central Michigan State University), Chuck Norris (Grand Valley State University), and Karen Salvador (University of Michigan-Flint); and roundtable moderators Terese Volk (Wayne State University, emeritus) and Abby Butler (Wayne State University). Ab- stracts for symposium and poster presentations appear below.


Keynote Address

Colleen Conway/University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Practitioner Inquiry: Bridging the Gap between Researchers and Teachers

Paper Presentations

Michael Hopkins/University of Michigan Benefits, Challenges, Characteristics and In- structional Approaches in an El Sistema In- spired After-School String Program Developed as a University-School Partnership

The purpose of this study was to examine the benefits, challenges, program characteristics and instructional approaches of an El Sistema Inspired (ESI) after-school string program de- veloped as a university-school partnership. Case study methodology was used to examine the program.

Fifth-grade students received

75-minutes of after-school instruction four days per week. Two graduate students in music per- formance and the elementary school orchestra/ general music teacher were the program’s lead

27 teachers. gave pullout lessons.

Phillip Hash

Eight additional university students The program featured

many “distinguishing characteristics” described in the ESI literature. The learning environment included large ensemble, sectional learning, and individual lessons. The repertoire learned was standard for American beginning string classes. Teachers provided rigorous expectations for the students to strive for excellence, a safe and sup- portive learning environment, flexible teach- ing, and peer mentoring opportunities. Benefits included high levels of musical achievement, increased learning opportunities, perceived benefits of discipline, perseverance, positive at- titude and hard work. Instructional challenges included low attendance, curricular balance, and teacher collaboration.

The intensity and

frequency of instruction were found to be the source of most benefits and challenges reported by the participants.

Mitchell Vogel/Interlochen Arts Academy Mastery Model of Percussion Development

One problem in music education involves the lack of proper instruction for optimal learning. Optimal, or efficient learning, involves learning as much information as the student can handle without task shedding, or losing information. The most likely reason this occurs is that most music instructors do not consider the principles of expertise development while forming the structure of lessons. This is a problem because students at different levels of expertise think and learn differently. Consequently, they need to be taught differently as well. In response, this study defines the behaviors of each level of ex- pertise for percussionists. Participants for this study were interviewed to determine the typical development of these musicians. The behaviors they reported were recorded and used to view which behaviors percussionists show at five dif- ferent levels of expertise across four behavioral categories. For example, a novice percussion- ist may only memorize basic rhythms or have trouble blending in with an ensemble. A pro- ficient percussionist who has been playing for


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