An examination of democratic educational processes within concert band rehearsals
This dissertation consists of three projects that I designed to examine high school band directors' and collegiate musicians' experiences and perceptions of democratic educational processes within concert band rehearsals. The first investigation is a review of literature about democratic educational principles and their application in non-music and music classrooms. The second investigation is a phenomenological study of collegiate musicians' lived experiences with democratic rehearsal procedures in a concert band setting. Emergent themes included (a) the value of multiple perspectives, (b) ownership and musical agency, (c) engagement, (d) the ability to provide feedback, and (e) concerns with the amount of rehearsal time. The third investigation was a survey study of high school band directors' attitudes toward democratic rehearsal procedures, self-reported use in a typical rehearsal cycle, and perceived disadvantages and advantages. Results indicated that respondents believed several democratic rehearsal procedures were important for their students to experience; however, the frequency of their application was inconsistent. Taken together, results from these three projects indicated that democratic educational principles may be beneficial for students and teachers by providing opportunities for students to (a) actively engage in their learning, (b) exercise their agency, (c) work collaboratively, and (d) develop skills related to musical independence.
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