Graduate Student Research Showcase 2022 – Abstracts

–featuring graduate student thesis and dissertation research–

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2022     ♦     1:00-3:00 pm

Casselberry, Joseph. Active versus Passive Motivational Orientations in Peer-Assisted Learning:  Applications in Music Performance

This purpose of this study was to test participants’ active versus passive motivational orientations on a music performance task. Previous research suggests that subjects who learn material in order to teach it to another peer cultivate a more active orientation, facilitating intrinsic motivation and resulting in greater learning and retention than learning the material simply to be tested. Undergraduate students enrolled in the marching band course at Louisiana State University were given a novel musical excerpt to learn over one week. After randomly assigning participants to one of three treatment groups, group A was told to learn the material with the intent to teach it to a partner who would be assigned at the end of the study period. group B was told to learn the material in order to take a test on it, and group C was only told to learn the material and report back with no guidance on how, or if, their learning would be assessed. A five item electronic question was administered at the beginning of the follow-up session to measure participant intrinsic motivation and predispositions toward active and passive learning. All participants performed the assigned material and were assessed using a previously validated performance rubric. Two experienced music educators, each with more than 10 years of teaching experience, listened to a representative sample of the performance recordings to determine inter-rater reliability. Results of a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) provided opportunities for discussion regarding the shaping of student motivational attitudes during music learning tasks.

Salas-Ruiz, Carla L.  A Multiple Case Study of Adolescent Piano Students:   Examining Motivation through the Lens of Interest Development

Interest is a powerful motivational variable that affects student motivation to learn (Renninger & Hidi, 2019). Over the past decades, researchers have thoroughly explored interest development, however, most of the research has been conducted with college students and in academic areas.  The purpose of this study was to use the lens of interest development (Hidi & Renninger, 2006) to examine adolescent piano students’ motivation to practice. Methodology included using Boeder et al.’s Interest Development Scale to identify two [ages 13-16]   students in the triggered-situational interest development phase, and two [ages 13-16] students in the maintained-situational phase of interest development. Over a period of six weeks, the researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with students, students’ teacher, and students’ parents, asked the participants to record their piano lessons and practice sessions, and to complete a practice journal regarding their interest to practice. This work examined participants’ psychological needs, general musical behaviors, existing self-regulating behaviors, and goals setting through the lens of interest development. Music teachers could benefit from better understanding adolescent music students’ interest development and the underlying mechanisms that prompt it, or sustain it to foster motivation to practice. Findings will be applicable to various music teaching and learning settings, beyond the private studio.

Song, Christopher.  Decisions, Agency, and Implementation of Curriculum by Band Directors:  An Inquiry Through Curriculum Theory

This research seeks to understand how band directors design and implement curriculum in their classrooms and how they perceive their agency and self-efficacy over curricular decisions. The study of music in schools has a complicated place in curriculum conversation due to its continuous fight for legitimacy and the diverse availability of music experiences potentially offered to students. How then do educators of music decide the curriculum of their classrooms with the presence factors that may be contradictory to their own values or the benefit of students? The purpose of this qualitative inquiry is to examine the experiences of band directors through a curriculum theory lens to better understand the factors that contribute to how band curriculum is created and implemented. In this study, curriculum theory is defined as the interdisciplinary study of educational experience. Pinar (2019) explains this theory as “the scholarly effort to understand curriculum” and as “that complicated conversation between teacher and students over the past and the future and their meaning for the present” (p. 1). Band directors have historically aligned curriculum with state or national standards, and their decisions may largely be motivated by competitive performances or evaluations. The central research questions are: a) How do band directors describe what musical knowledge is of most value?, b) What external and internal factors decide the curriculum taught in their classrooms?, and c) Is the curriculum taught in their classrooms aligned with their descriptions of what musical knowledge is of most value?
Pinar, W. F. (2019). What is curriculum theory? Routledge.

South, Abby L.  Implementation of Trauma-Informed Practices at an Afterschool Music Program for Children:  A Case Study of Teachers

The purpose of this study was to document the implementation of trauma-informed approaches in an afterschool music program for children that serves low socioeconomic students in a southern metropolitan area. The organization’s Educational Content Specialist and an outside research consultant led four hours of professional development on trauma-informed approaches, conducted observations of regularly scheduled educational programming (30 hours), and interviewed teachers, staff, and administrators (n = 16) who participated in the training. This program evaluation study investigated the staff’s perception of how trauma-informed training influenced their work as music educators. Emergent themes included: Shifts in attitude regarding behavior management; increased awareness of individual student needs; a move toward culturally responsive programming; a desire for more collaboration; and acknowledgment of the intrinsic connection between pedagogically sound music teaching and trauma informed instruction. Findings influenced the organization to: Formalize trauma-informed approaches during downtime; adopt social and emotional learning initiatives at all school sites; create additional opportunities for collaboration amongst staff and students; implement culturally responsive music programming and projects; offer more trauma-informed professional development opportunities; and establish a service-learning partnership with a local university to increase the number of caring adults present at programming. This study provides an initial foray into a line of inquiry that seeks to establish a large body of empirical research on the use of trauma-informed approaches in music classrooms.

Velasquez, Yulene.  An Examination of Self-Efficacy Beliefs Among Pre-Service Music Educators During the Covid-19 Pandemic

The study examines the self-efficacy beliefs perceived among pre-service music educators during the Covid-19 pandemic. The instrument I used was originally designed by psychologist Albert Bandura in 2006, and later adapted by Stephanie Prichard in 2015. I included questions related to the student teaching opportunities available to pre-service music educators during their junior and senior year of school during the 2021-2022 academic year. The survey questions inquire about the perceived competence of pre-service music teachers in their musical skill, their perceptions about classroom management skills, and their teaching experiences.