The Impact of Reciprocal Teaching on the Development of Musical Understanding in High School Student Members of Performing Ensembles: An Action Research
Frank Abrahams Westminster Choir College of Rider University Princeton, New Jersey
Daniel Abrahams Director of Instrumental Music Omaha Bryan Senior High School Omaha, Nebraska
We used action research to investigate whether the instructional method known as reciprocal teaching could nurture high school students’ musical understanding. Reciprocal teaching was originally used to help students find meaning in literary texts (Palincsar & Brown, 1984) and comprises the classroom strategies of summarizing, question generating, clarifying, and predicting, typically involving dialogue between students and teacher. To bring meaning to musical repertoire in ensembles, D. Abrahams added connecting to Palincsar’s (1982) original list of four.
One researcher studied students in the orchestra at an urban high school in the Midwest United States. The other applied the strategies in a high school honors choir at the preparatory division of a music college on the U.S. east coast. Data included dialogues or conversations between the researcher and the students, structured journal writing, and cross-curricular activities. In addition, each rehearsal was videotaped, and data were coded and analyzed to identify patterns and themes across cases. Verification was claimed through triangulation, face validity, catalytic validity, and construct validity. We found positive outcomes when we included reciprocal teaching in our separate ensemble rehearsals, such as faster and easier work in preparing literature.
Abrahams, F., & Abrahams, D. (2010). The Impact of Reciprocal Teaching on the Development of Musical Understanding in High School Student Members of Performing Ensembles: An Action Research. Visions of Research in Music Education, 15. Retrieved from http://www-‐usr.rider.edu/~vrme/