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Title: Teaching young musicians expressive performance : a mixed methods study
Author: Meissner, Henrique
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 5885
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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This doctoral project aimed to develop and test methods for facilitating young musicians' learning of performance expression. The project consisted of three studies. In the first study 29 pupils (aged 8-15) took part in an improvisation test and an experimental vs. control group session. The aim of the improvisation test was to explore whether participants had knowledge about the use of expressive cues for conveying basic emotions. Assessments indicated that most participants could convey happiness, sadness and anger effectively in improvisations. The experimental study investigated whether discussion of musical character is more effective for improving pupils' expressiveness than instruction focusing on accuracy and technique. Videorecordings of participants' performances of two extracts portraying contrasting emotions (happiness and sadness) pre- and post-teaching were assessed by four adjudicators. Results indicated that the experimental teaching had been significantly more effective for improving emotional expression and overall expressiveness scores in the 'sad' extract than control teaching, and there was a tendency for control teaching to be more effective for improving technical fluency and accuracy scores in the 'happy' piece. The second study took place in conjunction with the first and explored participants' views on methods used during the experimental study: practice of difficult sections; scales practice; improvisation; questions and dialogue. Participants filled in questionnaires and 16 pupils took part in video-stimulated recall interviews. Most participants found these methods useful and experimental group participants reported that questions regarding musical character had been helpful for understanding the 'musicality' of pieces. In the third study five tutors investigated teaching and learning expressiveness in a participatory action research project. Tutors observed that various methods and learning aims are interconnected. Findings from this doctoral project demonstrate that a dialogic teaching approach supported by modelling can facilitate pupils' learning of expressiveness. Implications for teaching young musicians performance expression will be discussed.
Supervisor: Timmers, Renee ; Pitts, Stephanie E. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available