local community orchestra. The orchestra prepared music for spring performances, including
Mikhail Glinka’s Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla. It was coincidence that both ensembles were
working on music by Russian composers and had no impact on the study. The rehearsals were
videotaped for later analysis. While it may not appear so from the descriptions of the use of
reciprocal teaching in the rehearsal discussions were deliberately kept short so as not to
compromise the intention of the rehearsals, which was to make music and not talk about it. When
we did ask questions, however, we tried to use leading questions.
The methods of using reciprocal teaching with each ensemble are in the form of first-
person narratives so the voice of each conductor is preserved and contributes to the descriptive
character of qualitative inquiry (Plano Clark & Creswell, 2009). The two ensembles are presented
in separate sections.
The Choir: Frank Abrahams, conductor
The work with the choir using reciprocal teaching centered on the preparation of Three
Russian Folksongs, Op. 41, by Sergei Rachmaninoff. Composed in 1926 for Leopold Stokowski
and the Philadelphia Orchestra, the songs were the last choral pieces the composer wrote.
Originally set in Russian and scored for alto and bass voices only, I decided to have the entire
choir sing in English and in unison. In clarifying this with the choir, I explained that because of
the dark, narrative texture, because the compositions were folk songs that would normally be
sung in unison and by any voice part and because of the complex and subtle accompaniment by
a very large orchestra, I believed that having everyone sing would make it easier for the choir to
be heard and understood by the audience. Of the songs, Vladimir Wishau wrote “[As the music]
moved along in its simple, folk-like fashion, I grew numb. My soul could take no more, and
tears began to flow! Only a man who loves his fatherland could compose this way. Only a man