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teacher and the students. This was consistent with the literature (Palincsar & Brown, 1985).

There were instances where the conductor did predicting that sometimes proved correct and

sometimes not. One instance of that was when the choir was asked to articulate out loud only the

hardest text. They chose the one line that was not in English and was contrary to what I (Frank

Abrahams) had thought they would select. But the important point here is that we were all

learning together. As their teacher, I was continually learning as well. By asking them questions

that engaged them in the processes of clarification and summarization, I was able to gain insights

into their musical understanding each step of the way. As a result, I could instantly adjust my

responses and re-clarify and re-question to help the singers make the connections that would

enable them to make meaning of the music.

2. Students were always searching for and making connections. In each of the orchestra

activities, students connected newly acquired knowledge with prior knowledge. This was

achieved through their questioning and subsequent clarification of questions. Reciprocal teaching

was the catalyst for them to connect concepts learned in the rehearsal with those they constructed

on their own away from school. The experience with the film music was one example. Another

was the connection a student made to mythological stories created and discussed in the

sophomore language arts class to the story of Russlan and Ludmilla. These connections were

powerful and facilitated relationships among the lessons the teachers designed, the interests of

students outside of school, and the coursework of both the orchestra class and the language arts


We also identified the following themes:

1. Reciprocal teaching differs from what a good teacher normally does in the routine and daily

interactions of rehearsing with choirs and orchestras. Specifically, good teachers always question

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