the student and the students, teachers (Palincsar & Brown, 1986).
Four strategies comprise the original reciprocal teaching model: summarizing,
questioning, clarifying, and predicting (Oczkus, 2003). As this study progressed, connecting
was added by Daniel Abrahams because he observed that the strategies acted in tandem, one
with another, in ways that are inter-locking and holistic. We have reconceptualized the
strategies of reciprocal teaching to apply them to rehearsing musical ensembles in schools.
Frank Abrahams (in press) introduced the strategies in the forthcoming text Teaching Music
Through Performance in Middle School Choir. The following descriptions are largely drawn
from that text. Daniel Abrahams (Abrahams & Abrahams, 2005) applied the strategies when
studying differentiated instruction in the high school band.
Summarizing is the ability to identify and integrate the most important information within
the music. The ability to realize that texture is the principal musical element in a particular piece
or that issues of mixed meter are the most prominent challenge are examples of summarizing.
For choirs, this aspect of reciprocal teaching engages students in the ability to summarize the text
across sentences, paragraphs, or whole passages because understanding and communicating the
text is paramount. A singer’s initial focus will be on the text within musical phrases and then
grow to encompass musical periods, then musical sections.
Questioning reinforces summarization. Students are challenged to frame significant and
substantial questions. The questioning strategy is a catalyst for deeper understanding. In
addition to students shaping questions, teachers also apply questioning when using reciprocal