This in turn gave students confidence to give feedback to each other in class. The students can use peer learning to confirm vocal issues they are unsure of and this confirmation indicates, to less advanced students, what is achievable. Vicarious reinforcement Bandura, ; in Ladyshewsky, occurs by observing the experience of others and then modifying your own behaviour based upon the outcomes that they experience.
The traditional structure of teaching in conservatoires and musical academies may encourage certain learning strategies and not others. Kamin et al discovered that non-classical musicians found peer influence exclusively positive, whereas for classical musicians it was a bit of both.
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Their recommendation was that peer influence is a good strategy for students, but only in certain contexts and perhaps the classical music context is not one of them. Nielsen found that peer learning was used to a lesser extent for students studying music in a Norwegian Music academy than other strategies such as rehearsal strategies or critical thinking strategies, which again suggests that the structure of the training encourages those sorts of strategies. The present study has found that if peer learning is encouraged through the restructuring of the learning environment, both classical and non-classical undergraduate singers find it helpful to interact with their peers.
The amalgamation of music and drama has meant that in the yearly intake of new students, there is a large variation in how much singing and music education they have received. Those students who have expressed mixed feelings about small group learning have usually come from similar backgrounds to Arielle.
The same solution has been offered to them as Arielle and seems to work; however, it does mean a constant effort on the part of the singing teachers to keep each other informed. The other advanced singing students also admit that once they begin receiving some one-to-one lessons and coaching, within the structure of the course, they love the individual attention that comes with the one-to-one lessons.
Another by-product of the course transformation and also another example of ZPD Vygotsky, is that the non-classical singers in the performance course at the university often seek out an advanced classical singer to help them with technique. Social interaction amongst students had to be encouraged within the culture of the school.
An unanticipated consequence has been the breaking down of the dichotomy that sometimes exists between classical and non-classical singers or even the singing minor versus major that is often part of the conservatoire structure. One student who entered the course with no interest in becoming a classical opera singer was so influenced by her peers she switched to the advanced singing group. The journals provide an opportunity for students to solve a problem by thinking about the solution, carry out the solution through the activity of singing and then refine the solution if necessary.
Zana and Cleo used their journals as a way to synthesize the different perspectives they were getting from books, and other classes involving spoken voice. The strategies devised to help with solving problems, were then used in a fresh cycle of comprehension through to reflection and this cycle continued Clarke, Conclusion The results of this study suggest that there is value in peer learning and reflection for both classical and non-classical singers at an undergraduate level.
At the same time, there is no doubt that there is still a place for individual tuition, particularly for advanced classical singers. In second and third year of the three-year degree, the advanced classical singing students are provided with individual repertoire coaching and their session is divided into 6 weeks of class work and 7 weeks of individual lessons. The combination of group and individual lessons has worked well for the classical singers as they learnt vocal exercises and technique with their peers, and then worked on their own individual repertoire for the rest of the session.
The non-classical singers continue with small group lessons throughout their degree. The reflective journals that students keep have repeatedly shown the high value that students place on watching the development of others and learning with them. The peer learning then reinforces the reflection as they critically evaluate each other and themselves, through the process of participating in class. This interaction seems to motivate their further learning. Students who do not have the opportunity to experience one-to-one lessons, in the traditional conservatoire style, have still managed to develop their singing using strategies such as reflection and peer learning.
What has been lost in the process is the amount of individual repertoire that an undergraduate typically would have gained in a conservatoire; however that is made up for by providing every student with the opportunity to perform in six fully mounted productions during their three-year course.
The productions require them to transfer the skills they have learnt in class to an authentic performance situation.
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By learning in classes, at an undergraduate level they develop a language in which they can discuss their singing and through these discussions that often take place in corridors, during lunch times and with friends, they begin to construct a deep understanding and appreciation for the practice of singing. The fact that Cleo, Arielle, Zana and Pablo recognised early on that they were expected to take responsibility for their own learning, without the one-to-one support of a teacher, meant they made more of an effort to pay attention to what others were doing in class.
Group teaching also meant that the students reflected on whether what they observed in others, could somehow be applied to their own practice.
They have become well informed singers capable of critically evaluating technical problems in others and themselves and in this have managed to transform what Vygotsky described as an interpersonal process into an intra-personal one through reflection and peer learning. References Bandura, A. Social learning theory. New York: General Learning Press. Bandura, A. Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W. Barab, S. Design-based research: Putting a stake in the ground. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13 1 , Blumer, H. Symbolic interactionism: Perspective and method.
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Discover your voice: How to develop healthy voice habits. Burwell, K. British Journal of Music Education, 22 3 , Chapman, E. Interpretative phenomenological analysis and the new genetics. Journal of Health Psychology, 7 2 , Clarke, E. The principles and teaching of bel canto: The grammar of the human cry.
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Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Monash University, Melbourne. Conable, B. The structures and movement of breathing: A primer for choirs and choruses. Chicago: GIA Publications. Da Costa, D. British Journal of Music Education, 16 1 , Davidson, J. Family dynamics and family scripts: A case study of musical development.
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http://builttospill.reclaim.hosting/vraemonios-athenya-n-1.php Imagination in practice: A study of the integrated roles of interpretation, imagery and technique in the learning and memorisation processes of two experienced solo performers. Time for practising? Lehmann Eds.
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Current theory and research on instrumental music practice. Kamin, S. Influences on the talent development process of non-classical musicians: Psychological, social and environmental influences. Music Education Research, 9 3 , Kayes, G. Singing and the Actor 2nd ed. Kiely, R. Trahar Ed. Oxford: Symposium Books. Ladyshewsky, R. Peer coaching: a constructivist methodology for enhancing critical thinking in postgraduate business education. Mitchell, H. Logoped Phoniatr Vocol, 28, Miller, R. Solutions for singers: Tools for performers and teachers.
New York: Oxford University Press. Nerland, M. One-to-one teaching as cultural practice: Two case studies from an academy of music. Nielsen, S.
Table of contents
Learning strategies in instrumental music practice. British Journal of Music Education, 16 3 , Strategies and self-efficacy beliefs in instrumental and vocal individual practice: A study of students in higher music education. Psychology of Music, 32 4 , Obert, K.
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