Larisa Skinner’s Ed.D. Dissertation Defense: “TEACHING MUSIC VIRTUALLY: A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF THE CHANGING PEDAGOGIES OF URBAN ENSEMBLE MUSIC TEACHERS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC”
ABSTRACT: This qualitative study explores the changing pedagogies of 11 urban ensemble music educators as they have experienced virtual and hybrid learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following questions guided the study: (1) What challenges did ensemble music teachers face in meeting the current music education standards for students in urban districts with virtual instruction, specifically in the COVID context? (2) How did urban instrumental and choral teachers in 4-12th grade settings adapt to virtual music instruction in order to maintain the quality of their programs? (3) From the teacher and student perspectives, what are the unique advantages and disadvantages of virtual music learning impacting student performance in urban settings? The original theoretical framework used for this study, Critical Digital Music Pedagogy, provided a lens for interpreting the data. Teacher interviews, document collection, and student surveys provide a detailed case study of changing pedagogies in elementary and secondary urban music ensemble classrooms. Teachers utilized innovative strategies to teach music through technology by exposing students to all kinds of music, providing more opportunities for student interpretation, engaging in collaboration inside and outside the class, exploring new ways to present music, and fostering greater proficiency in fundamental music skills. Results suggest that prior to the pandemic, teachers focused on performing, whereas during the pandemic, much more time was spent on creating, responding, and connecting musical activities. Implications include continued integration of technology in music classrooms, future study on the impact of virtual learning on potential initiatives in music education, and sufficient technology training and resourcing for music educators.
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