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and clarify. A goal of good teaching is for students to make connections. So, what makes this

different? Reciprocal teaching requires that the teacher think more about the types of questions

asked, often framing them in advance. We found that in preparing our rehearsals, we spent

dedicated time formulating questions and predicting answers. We spent directed time thinking

about how to clarify and to connect concepts, and how to remedy issues we identified that might

be problematic (predicting). We were deliberate about how we would summarize and where in

the rehearsal summary would occur and found that more frequently it happened throughout the

rehearsal rather than at the closure of the rehearsal, which is the traditional time.

2. Reciprocal teaching empowered students to express their opinions and insights freely. One of

the patterns discussed above is that of the shifting roles of students and teachers. When students

took responsibility for their own learning through questioning and clarifying, they began to build

trust and respect for one another’s opinions and insights. Students relied on the feedback of their

peers, positive and negative, to meet the common goal of improving performance. As a result,

students became more comfortable opening themselves to making decisions that they believed

were in the best interest of the society of the ensemble.


According to the definitions provided earlier, musical imagination is the ability to

envision possibilities. Reciprocal teaching, as applied to the preparation of the three

Rachmaninoff folksongs by the choir, did little to foster musical imagination. This is not

surprising, as the purpose of the rehearsals where reciprocal teaching was applied was to prepare

a piece for performance. Thus, there were no real opportunities for students to add something

original of their own.

Unlike the choir, reciprocal teaching as applied to the preparation of the Russlan and

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