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Connecting

Connecting interconnects the strategies. Clearly, summarizing, clarifying, questioning,

and predicting overlap at times in the rehearsal process. Sometimes students make the

connections themselves, in other instances, the teacher serves as a catalyst to help students see

the connections and apply them to their music making. Connecting supports constructivist

principles where students are encouraged to make meaning on their own (McCarthy, 2000;

Vygotsky, 1978; Wink, & Putney, 2001) and ensures that students are using higher-level

thinking and understanding the musical concepts in the repertoire they are rehearsing.

As a collection, these strategies are consistent with the goals of high school ensembles,

which are to perform new repertoire, nurture musical literacy and the abilities to listen

critically, recreate a composer’s musical intensions, experience musics of different genres and

periods, and the like. The difference between using reciprocal teaching with a music ensemble

and using it with text is that the ultimate outcome for the ensemble is public performance,

whereas the desired outcome in language arts is to improve comprehension, which would of

course improve higher scores on standardized tests.

Research on Reciprocal Teaching

In 1982, Palincsar investigated the effects of explicit instruction using four monitoring

activities (summarizing, questioning, clarifying, and predicting) with junior high students in

language arts classes. She reported five findings. First, students made considerable

improvement in their ability to answer reading comprehension questions. Second, the type of

question, open or closed for example, used in the study had no effect on instruction. Third,

students showed their increased ability to summarize and generate questions verbally. Fourth,

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