Engaging students through collaborative music creation

The knowledge to be mobilized in this project is how to more effectively engage students in the composing, improvising, and recording of music.

Project Category:
Exploiting available research more effectively
Topic Area:
Arts
Ministry Priority
(2011-2013):
Engagement
Project Lead(s):
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Lead Institution:
Brief Background:
The knowledge to be mobilized in this project is how to more effectively engage students in the composing, improvising, and recording of music. This project targets music teachers and connects them across schools in learning communities and these communities to research centers to implement the newest knowledge in this area. Prior to this project Dr. Peter Wiegold engaged participants with an expert visit. He provided presentations, demonstrations and resources focused on pedagogical knowledge and theoretical backgrounds in collaborative music creation.
Research Context:
Patricia O’Toole (2000) and Lucy Green (2002) focused on the disparity between how music is taught in the schools and how popular musicians learn. Green (2008) demonstrated the benefits of teaching in the schools in the way popular musicians in the community learn and work. Commonly, the creative activity of musicians in the community now involves composing, improvising, and recording. However, Bartel and Cameron (2002) found that music teachers had the least confidence to teach composing and improvising. With the latest Ontario Ministry of Education Arts Curriculum (2010) calling for a strong role for creative music making including composing and improvising, teachers need to understand the latest research and discover how to apply it effectively in their context. The methodology involves collaborative learning communities (CLCs) as the primary knowledge mobilization vehicle with the task of action research to engage and create ownership of the knowledge. The CLCs create projects and deliver them with board leadership supervision.
Knowledge Mobilization Activities:
Knowledge will be mobilized in two directions: (1) From university research to practice . To accomplish this, all workshops organized and funded for this project will be open to the wider educational community . Expert guests brought in for the previous project will present public lectures. University-based project leads and their research centre associates will visit the CLCs and share their knowledge as appropriate. (2) From practitioner to practitioner. CLCs formed from teacher volunteers with some guidance from school board leadership will connect directly to university researchers who function as leads and assist in the formation of the project direction and focus. The CLCs then carry out their projects with board leadership supervision and report at the end in the context of an academic and professional knowledge sharing conference. Final reporting conferences and events including individual project results will be made available as appropriate through webcasts, website posted videos, or web-posted resources. In addition, as described above, CLC participants will be encouraged and facilitated to share their results at provincial and national levels.
Outcomes:
Student engagement through “real-world” means of collaborative music creation will be fostered; teacher engagement in research will be facilitated; effective embedded Professional Development practices for music and art educators will be developed; and productive connections between school and community practitioners will be established.