Musical successes and challenges: The impacts of a keyboard lab program on public schools, music teachers, and students
Amy Lynn Vanderwall, Teachers College, Columbia University, United States
Teachers College, Columbia University . Awarded
Many schools across the United States develop relationships with external organizations as part of their school music programs. These relationships take on a variety of forms, from long-term partnerships and grant opportunities to one-time musical experiences for students. However, little or no research describes the development of external relationships for school music programs and the successes and challenges that students and teachers experience within these relationships. The purpose of this study was to describe why New York City Public School System music programs participate in the keyboard lab program offered by the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, and to identify the successes and challenges that both teachers and students experience within the keyboard lab program.
This qualitative multi-case study focused on a purposeful sample of two New York City Public School System schools that participated in the keyboard lab program. Data collection approaches at each site included: document review (grant application), music teacher interviews, student focus groups, and observations of classes in the keyboard lab setting. Data were analyzed using pattern coding, constant comparison method, and triangulation techniques. The data analysis resulted in a topical report, which provided detailed accounts of why each school participated in the keyboard lab program and how music teachers and music students described their successes and challenges within the keyboard lab.
Results also demonstrated that although each school had unique perspectives and experiences, commonalities were found, including: (a) school profiles included lack of music program resources prior to the keyboard lab program; supportive principals in terms of grant-writing, keyboard lab space allocation, and ongoing monetary support for the keyboard lab; and general excitement for the keyboard lab program; (b) teachers that described: successes in terms of constructivism, good/successful teaching, transfer, aesthetic education, and Standards-based teaching, and challenges as lack of resources (time and space) and music technology-related professional development; and (c) students that described: positive feelings about music, positive attribution indicators of success, and experiences in the keyboard lab program that provide evidence of flow or optimal student experience.
Vanderwall, A.L. Musical successes and challenges: The impacts of a keyboard lab program on public schools, music teachers, and students. Ph.D. thesis, Teachers College, Columbia University.
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