Fostering citizenship and democracy through chamber music coaching
TABLE OF CONTENTS Page CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION.. 1 Introduction 2 Teacher-Student Dyad 3 Background of the Problem 5 A Disconnect, an Awakening 5 Statement of the Problem 7 Purpose 8 Conceptual Framework 8 The Musical and Social Processes of Chamber Music 9 Valued requisites of chamber music ensemble processes 9 The chamber music classroom ..9 Exploration of social processes within teams and chamber music ensembles 10 The democratic way of life - principles and conditions 11 Social Contexts of Learning 12 School as a democratic institution 12 School contexts and attributes of democratic learning environments 12 Social contexts and attributes of instrumental music classrooms 13 Research Aims 13 Research Design Overview 14 Multiple-Case Design 14 Methodology Applied to Research Questions 15 Research Question 1 and Methodology 15 Interview 15 Participant Journals 17 Research Questions 2 & 3 and Methodology 18 Participant Selection and Setting 18 Coaches 18 Student ensembles 19 Site 19 Plan for Remaining Chapters 19 Key Terms 20 v
Page IL LITERATURE REVIEW 22 Introduction 22 Part 1: The Musical and Social Processes of Chamber Music 24 Valued Requisites of Chamber Ensemble Processes 24 Musical skills 25 Problem solving and critical thinking 27 Interpersonal relations 28 Organizational management 30 Democracy in chamber music 30 The Chamber Music Classroom 32 Direct instruction of musical skills 33 Problem solving, critical thinking, and ensemble management.35 Summary 37 Exploration of Social Processes within Teams and Music Ensembles 38 Group or team 38 Leader vs. leadership 40 Leadership practice within classroom teams 42 Leadership practice within chamber music ensembles 43 Conflict within teams 48 Conflict within chamber music ensembles 50 Summary 54 The Democratic Way of Life - Principles and Conditions 55 Democratic mindfulness and the individual 57 Conflict in democracy 58 Summary 59 Part 2: Social Contexts of Learning 60 School as a Democratic Institution 60 The presentation of knowledge 62 Implications for technical training 63 Experience in the classroom 64 Power in democratic classrooms 65 Social Contexts and Attributes of Democratic Learning Environments 68 Social contexts of democracy 68 Citizen in democracy 69 Social construction of knowledge 70 Collaborative skill acquisition 71 Cooperative and collaborative learning environments 73 Social Contexts of Instrumental Music Classrooms 75 Applied studio 76 Large ensemble 77 Implications of teacher-centered music classrooms 79 vi
Page Call for Study: The Chamber Music Classroom as an Evolving Social Democracy 80 III. METHODOLOGY 82 Introduction 82 Pilot Study 82 Qualitative Inquiry 84 Research Questions 84 Research Approach 85 Multiple-Case Study 85 Participant Selection and Setting 86 Coaches 87 Student Ensembles 88 Site 88 Instrumentation 88 Data Collection and Procedures 89 Observation 90 Audio Recording 90 Field Notes (Observation Protocol Form) 90 Participant Journals 91 Researcher Journal 91 Interview 92 Interview One - Focused Life History 93 Interview Two - Details of the Experience 93 Interview Three - Reflection on the Meaning 94 Audio Recording 94 Field Notes (Observation Protocol Form) 95 Reflective Journal 95 Data Analysis 95 Inductive Design 96 Item-Level Analysis 97 Consistent Comparative Analysis 97 Trustworthiness 98 Triangulation 98 Participant Selection and Coach Interviews 99 Student Interviews 99 Risks to Participants 100 IV. STEVEN AND THE WOODWIND QUINTET 101 The Community 102 Steven (coach) 102 Alice (flute) 103 vn
Page Mike (oboe) 104 Sara (clarinet) 104 Ryan (horn) 104 Nicole (bassoon) 105 The Music Conservatory Classroom Setting 105 Perspectives and Vignettes 106 Individual Points of View 106 Perspectives 106 Vignettes 110 Scene 1: "We're reacting to you." 110 Scene 2: "There's more than one way to interpret anything." I l l Scene 3: "It's a question of how much personal character." 113 Scene 4: "Well, I sort of played it the way I felt." 113 Later thoughts 114 Everybody Brings Something Significant to the Table 115 Perspectives 115 Vignettes 118 Scene 1: "Again, I'm not a bass player, but..." 118 Scene 2: "This works on the clarinet, the bassoon, and probably the oboe." 119 Scene 3: "Yeah, I'm glad you have a better idea." 120 Later thoughts 121 Leading and Following 122 Perspectives 122 Vignettes 125 Scene 1: "How to give that cue." 125 Scene 2: "Sorry, can you cue that last note?" 127 Scene 3: "I don't see a lot of motion going on." 127 Later thoughts 128 Make Your Own Manifesto 128 Perspectives 128 Vignettes 134 Scene 1: "So what'd you think?" 134 Scene 2: "We're all musicians, right? We all hear it different ways." 136 Scene 3: "How do you cue that?" 137 Scene 4: "How about a little more support?" 138 Later thoughts 139 We Genuinely Care for Each Other 141 Perspectives 142 Vignettes 143 viu
Page Scene 1: "Well I wouldn't say that we just play around the whole time." 143 Scene 2: "It's hard to communicate with them." 144 Scene 3: "Do you understand?" 145 Scene 4: "I notice I tend to be more gentle." 146 Later thoughts 147 That's How You Live as a Citizen 148 Perspectives 148 Vignettes 149 Scene 1: "Does that fit into your thinking?" 149 Scene 2: "I want to be the one moving for intonation. Me! Ok?" 149 Later thoughts 151 Summary 151 V. MAX AND THE PIANO SEXTET 153 The Community 154 Max (coach) 154 Steve (flute) 155 Tim (oboe) 156 Sara (clarinet) 156 Mary (bassoon) 157 Jessica (horn) 157 Talia (piano) 158 The Music Conservatory Classroom Setting 158 Perspectives and Vignettes 159 The Physical Side 159 Perspectives 159 Vignettes 163 Scene 1: "It's a little bit laissez-faire.. .that cue." 163 Scene 2: "You know what I would do." 164 Scene 3: "You're making your colleagues uncertain." 165 Scene 4: "Who's gonna be cueing that?" 166 Later thoughts 167 Awareness 167 Perspectives 167 Vignettes 170 Scene 1: "Make the musical connection." 170 Scene 2: "There's a voice singing inside your head." 171 Later thoughts 171 The Chamber Music Dance 172 Perspectives 172 IX
Page Vignettes 176 Scene 1: "Let the markets decided kind of fortissimo." 176 Scene 2: "Am I low or are you high?" 177 Scene 3: "We're all friends outside of class." 179 Scene 4: "I'm the boring one?" 181 Scene 5: "He was never mean." 182 Scene 6: "So you're leaving us, huh?" 183 Later thoughts 186 Creative Partner 186 Perspectives 186 Vignettes 189 Scene 1: "Horns are always sharp." 189 Scene 2: "Imagine." 191 Scene 3: "What's your tempo?" 193 Scene 4: "No, no go ahead. I like stupid." 193 Scene 5: "You don't come in until 2/2, right?" 194 Later thoughts 195 We Have Specialists 196 Perspectives 196 Vignettes 198 Scene 1: "One strong player can transform the entire experience." 198 Scene 2: "Steve is very analytical." 198 Scene 3: "We don't notice the kind of really specific detail things." 200 Later thoughts 201 Summary 201 VI. EMERGING CITIZENSHIP 203 Emerging Citizenship 203 Chamber Music's Social Aims: An Introduction 205 Fostering Democratically Mindful Citizens 209 One Anotherness of Artist-Citizens 212 Reciprocal Perspectives 213 Respectful Tolerance 215 Friendly Disagreement 219 Collaborative Leadership and Engaged Followership of Artist-Citizens 221 Voice (or no voice) 222 Diverse Specialists 224 Shared Leadership and Engaged Followership 226 Thinking and Moving Critically as Artist-Citizens 229 x
Page Collective Aims 229 Critical Awareness 232 Communal Problem Solving 235 Conflict and Consensus 237 A Study About Sara 239 The"Othering"ofSara 240 Sara's Voice 241 Sara's Skill 244 Maturity and Friendship 246 The Charge 247 Challenges We Face 248 Fostering Artist-Citizenship 249 Future Directions 250 A Momentary Conclusion 251 REFERENCES 254 APPENDICES 264 A: Informational Letter to Chamber Music Coach 265 B: Informational Letter to Students 267 C: Informational Letter to Dean of Students 269 D: Consent Form for Adult Participants 271 E: Participants' Rights, Adult 273 F: Coach and Student Interview Protocol Form 1 275 G: Coach and Student Interview Protocol Form 2 276 H: Coach and Student Interview Protocol Form 3 277 I: Observation Protocol Form 278 J: Researcher Journal (Reflective Journal) 279 XI
1 Chapter I INTRODUCTION Introduction Do musical classrooms nurture student performers as creative artists? Do our classrooms nurture creative thinkers, as well? In their preparation as student-artists, can teachers foster an environment that is not limited to music and music making, but inspires a sense of social responsibility amongst all participants? Do we have a ready-made space that encourages these possibilities, as they might be imagined? This dissertation will examine the possibility of the student chamber music ensemble - with its requisite coach - as a space for fostering not only musical, but social responsibility. As a performance medium, a chamber music ensemble is democratically inclined; it is an ensemble that operates without a conductor, fully reliant upon the communication, collaboration, and cooperation of its members. Unlike its larger counterparts in Western instrumental music (the orchestra or band with their requisite conductor) the chamber music ensemble is an autonomous musical community, requiring and relying on its members to participate equally, across musical and social landscapes. Members, for example, must coordinate how to start and stop together, listen carefully to others, maintain eye contact, critically reflect and collaboratively problem-solve, and respectfully discuss tempi, dynamics, and other characteristics vital to chamber music performance.
2 In response to these musical and social requisites, this dissertation will propose an additional question. If we take serious the notion that chamber music's social and musical processes are democratic, might we begin to conceive of the chamber music ensemble as a democratically mindful community, where artistry, growth, and responsibility meet? When communities such as chamber music ensembles are democratically minded, they go beyond common conceptions like the "political governance involving the consent of the governed" (Beane & Apple, 1995). They are prone or inclined to a "democratic way of life" that promotes the "open flow of ideas", has "faith in the individual and collective", uses "critical reflection to evaluate problems or policy", shows concern for the "welfare, dignity, and rights of others", and "idealizes democratic values to guide and shape life" (pp. 6-7). Democratic communities, writes Greene (1995), are "energized and radiated by an awareness of future possibility" while also becoming aware of "present deficiencies and present flaws" (p. 166). These "flaws" can only be remedied through social communication, "sharing experience until it becomes a common possession", a modified and hopeful disposition by and of all involved (Dewey, 1916, p. 10). As one might expect, the democratically inclined requisites of chamber music performance are learnable skills and dispositions that may or may not come naturally to participants, especially student musicians who have spent a considerable amount of time performing under the auspices of a conductor. Typically, a student chamber music ensemble is assigned a coach who is responsible for a student ensemble's chamber music learning. Given the fact that coaches are not active performers in the student ensemble for which they are responsible, their role appears strictly external. Further complicating
3 the matter, as is common for any classroom environment, the teacher is often perceived as an all-knowing expert (Campbell, 1995; Dewey, 1938; Freire, 1970). Needless to say, a chamber music instructor's mere presence will have significant potential to either help or hinder a student ensemble's ability to experience chamber music as it is intended or as it appears to be inclined: as an autonomous, creative community of diverse individuals. Teacher-Student Dyad Campbell (1995) views the teacher-expert/student-novice relationship as historically bounded in our strong Western tradition of musical apprenticeships, and its requisite emphasis on the acquisition of written symbols and common practice procedures. Russian psychologist Vygotsky (1978) points out that in Western traditions, learning involves a procedural entry into cultures by more skilled members, displaying the potential for an imbalance of power in the learning dyad. Concerning adult experts and younger learners, a subservient social community in our classrooms may result. Freire (1970) wrote to great length about the dangers of the master-apprentice dyad, arguing that an imbalance may lead to an "oppressed" relationship, one affecting not only the classroom's social climate, but society's well-being, as well. More to the point, with such an "imposition from above and outside", as opposed to beginning from the experiential perspective of a young learner, teachers miss a social link required for student growth (Dewey, 1938, p. 19). Freire and the other aforementioned authors do not argue that classrooms must be void of teacher authority in order to engender a sense of freedom and equality amongst its participants (Freire, 1995). On the contrary, Freire (1970) continually assures us that we, as educators, have a choice regarding the social climate of our classrooms by carefully
reflecting upon the notion of authority vs. authoritarianism. Freire's writing distinguishes between authority, which he perceives as a mutual learning environment of "teacher- student and student-teachers" (p. 72), and that of authoritarian, a learning environment where traditional or extant knowledge is presented by the teacher "as a gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowledgeable upon those whom they consider to know nothing" (p. 80). This student interview, excerpted from Berg's (1997) study examining the social processes of two high school chamber music ensembles, displays the degree of undo influence a coach may posses over a student chamber music ensemble: Berg: How does your ensemble arrive at an understanding of how to play musically? Cari: I think the coach does that! He's like 'no you should play it like this!' Berg: So then how much do you listen to the coach's ideas? Cari: I always think 'oh he's right'. Lisa: Yeah, you just assume. Nan: Yeah (p. 212). Given the collaborative requisites, a chamber music ensemble demands of its participants, the aforementioned excerpt challenges the questions that provided a starting point for this study. Based on what is implied in this excerpt, have these students experienced the collaborative, democratically inclined requisites of chamber music performance? To what degree is a teacher-centered approach warranted for chamber music teaching and learning? How can such an environment nurture creative artistry, creative thinking, and social responsibility? Is the chamber music classroom a ready- made space that encourages these possibilities, as they might be imagined?
5 Background of the Problem Although much of my time as a trumpeter is spent in a symphony orchestra, what I enjoy most is performing with my professional chamber ensembles: the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Atlantic Brass Quintet. Unlike the symphony orchestra, with its requisite conductor, the ensembles I perform with are democratically mindful and allow us, as its members, to collectively involve one another with all decisions regarding the organization as a whole, decisions like musical interpretation, personnel, programming, rehearsal agendas, and concert venues. We do not promote or assign a designate leader. Instead, we rely on one another to share leadership roles at different times depending on our individual strengths, interests, and the task at hand. In the case of the conductor-less Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the collaborative chamber music processes we each learned as chamber musicians aligns with the performance of large- scale orchestral repertoire, creating a collaborative orchestral environment where all musicians have an opportunity to lead, support, and contribute to the creative process. Musicians in this orchestra are also further empowered by opportunities for integration into key artistic and administrative roles, based on personal interest, such as Co-Artistic Director, serving on the Board of Directors, or various "non-musical" committees. As a result of these efforts we self-identify as a democratic community of professional musicians. A Disconnect, an Awakening It was through my brass quintet's summer chamber music program for students that I began to notice a philosophical disconnect between our ideals and practices, which
6 eventually led me to this research. Specifically, I sensed that a paradox had developed that was directly related to our actions as coaches, thereby exposing a discrepancy between the faculty's own chamber music practices and the manner in which we coached our student ensembles. In a pilot study conducted at my quintet's program for students during the summer of 2005,1 videotaped my colleagues as they coached various chamber music ensembles. In reviewing the data, I noticed that the sessions were heavily teacher- centered - similar to how a conductor would lead a band or orchestra rehearsal. The coaches (my peers and fellow chamber music partners) often presented strong opinions, even ultimatums, about musical style to the students. Even I found myself acting more as an authoritarian, rather than an authority who was there to nurture student independence. We frequently divulged to the students how and why the ensemble fell apart during a piece, and in numerous instances, we would conduct or clap the students through particularly challenging passages. Students never expressed opinions to us, and they rarely spoke to one another during these sessions. In comparing this autocratic coaching environment to our own ensemble's democratically mindful practice, I questioned whether the students were experiencing chamber music as chamber musicians - ideally - should. As faculty members, our chamber music ensemble openly discussed musical issues such as style and articulation when appropriate, and dissenting opinions were welcomed. We looked at a musical score and each other's parts to decipher why the ensemble fell apart in the middle of the piece, and we collectively shared leadership responsibility, as determined by the music. We never entertained the idea of one conductor or designated leader. The scenario I have outlined begged the question, why did we instruct a democratically inclined ensemble in
7 such an autocratic manner, and more to the point, shouldn't we have created a classroom environment that models chamber music's social and musical processes, subsequently promoting chamber music's unique capacities for social and musical growth and responsibility? Statement of the Problem Based upon my experience as a professional musician, as well as related literature on the social environment and performance processes of chamber music ensembles (e.g., Berg, 1997; Davidson & Ford, 2003; Murnighan & Conlon, 1991; Young & Colman, 1979) and its valued attributes (e.g., Brown, 2003; Carmody, 1988; Rudaitis, 1995; Villarubia, 1999/2000), the chamber music ensemble appears to allow musicians the opportunity to experience democratically mindful attributes not typically practiced in conductor-led ensembles (e.g., Benson, 1989; Duke & Madsen, 1991; Pontious, 1982; Sherrill, 1986), attributes such as independent musicianship, critical thinking, problem solving, interpersonal relations, and shared organization. However, my observations have shown that chamber music coaches can easily assume the role of a conductor, creating a teacher-centered classroom that often overlooks the democratically inclined processes required of chamber musicians. This dissertation will investigate how professional chamber music experience has informed the teaching perspectives and approach of two college chamber music coaches, and the problematics of implementing its ideals. In addition, given that chamber music's social and musical requisites are often described as democratic, this study will explore chamber music's processes from the perspective of a democratically mindful community and democratic education.
8 Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate to what degree the chamber music ensemble, with its social and musical requisites, allows us, as music educators, the opportunity to nurture democratic mindfulness in student-artists. It will examine how professional chamber music experience has informed the teaching perspectives and approach of two college chamber music coaches, viewing this data from the lens of a democratic community. Together, these findings will help chamber music coaches address difficult questions attributed to chamber music instruction, how does one lead others to lead themselves, and in preparing student-artists to become collaborative practitioners and thinkers, can we also inspire in them a sense of musical and social responsibility through collaborative practice and thought? Conceptual Framework A conceptual framework, a system of concepts, assumptions, expectations, and beliefs (Miles & Huberman, 1994), explains "the main things to be studied - the key factors, concepts, or variables - and the presumed relationships among them" (p. 18). The framework of this study utilizes concepts extracted from musical, educational, and philosophical literature, and is organized in two parts. Part 1 (The Musical and Social Processes of Chamber Music) introduces the reader to literature related to chamber music ensemble processes, and consists of four sections: a) Valued Requisites of Chamber Music Ensemble Processes; b) The Chamber Music Classroom; c) Exploration of Social Processes within Teams and Chamber Music Ensembles; d) The Democratic Way of Life - Principles and Conditions. Part 2 (Social Contexts of Learning) explores how chamber
9 music processes align with democratic processes, especially as related to democracy in and through education; it consists of three sections: a) School as a Democratic Institution; b) Social Contexts and Attributes of Democratic Learning Environments; c) Social Contexts and Attributes of Instrumental Music Classrooms. The culmination of this material results in a conceptual framework used both as the frame for this study as well as its rational: an examination of the teaching philosophy and approach of two college chamber music coaches from the perspective of a democratic community. The following section will introduce concepts extracted from literature that comprises the conceptual framework, reviewed in more detail within Chapter 2. The Musical and Social Processes of Chamber Music Valued requisites of chamber music ensemble processes. Literature examining the social and musical processes of chamber music ensembles, as well as literature examining the valued requisites of chamber music, frequently describes the chamber music ensemble as "democratic" in its social and musical processes (e.g., Davidson & Ford, 2003; Murnighan & Conlon, 1991). These democratic qualities surface within chamber music ensembles in forms of ensemble problem solving, critical thinking, individual and collaborative interpretation, and interpersonal relations (e.g., Butterworth, 1990; Davidson & Ford, 2003; Davidson & Good, 2002; Murnighan & Conlon, 1991). This concept is rarely defined or made problematic. The chamber music classroom. While literature describes the chamber music ensemble's social and musical processes as democratic, no studies that I have found have examined this idea within the chamber music classroom. In fact, studies that do provide an empirical glimpse into chamber music classrooms (Berg, 1997; Bononi, 2000;
10 Carmody, 1988; Zorn, 1969) do not set out to specifically examine the role of the coach, with the exception of a master's thesis by Tsai (2001). As a result, it is unclear how chamber music coaches facilitate their classrooms, and specifically, foster the democratically inclined attributes of chamber music with student ensembles. I contend that this study fills that void, examining not only how chamber music coaches facilitate their teaching perspectives and approaches, but also to what degree the social and musical processes of chamber music performance and coaching are applicable to democratic communities. Exploration of social processes within teams and chamber music ensembles. As described by Kreitner and Kinicki (2007), a team is a small collection of people possessing complementary skills that hold themselves mutually accountable for common purpose, goals, and approach, while additionally practicing leadership as a shared activity. This description of a team, a commonly recognized organizational community, parallels the collaborative practice of chamber music ensembles, and communities that aspire to democratic practice. This similarity gives credence to further examination of parallels between common interpersonal issues within teams, chamber music ensembles, and democratic communities. Literature born through an empirical lens in the field of organizational behavior is extensive, especially literature relating to issues of interpersonal relations within groups or teams. Literature examining the social and musical processes of chamber music ensembles (e.g., Butterworth, 1990; Davidson & Ford, 2003; Davidson & Good, 2002; Murnighan & Conlon, 1991) displayed three interpersonal issues especially relevant to interpersonal dynamics of teams: group or team, leader vs. leadership, and conflict.
11 These issues, and their relevance to chamber music ensemble process are explored in greater detail within Chapter 2. Their inclusion in this conceptual framework informs and further justifies the importance of understanding interpersonal relations within chamber music ensembles and democratic communities. The democratic way of life - principles and conditions. Considering chamber music's frequent comparisons to that of a democracy, it is relevant to examine basic principles and conditions of democratic communities, especially as viewed by educational philosophers. As written by Beane and Apple (1995), when communities are committed to democracy, they go beyond that of "political governance involving the consent of the governed." In addition to self-governance, democratic communities uphold a so-called "democratic way of life," one that promotes the open flow of ideas, has faith in the individual and collective, uses critical reflection to evaluate problems or policy, shows concern for the welfare, dignity, and rights of others, and idealizes democratic values to guide and shape life (pp. 6-7). Relevant to chamber music is Dewey's (1938) idea that democratic living requires specialization and difference, so that "all individuals have an opportunity to contribute something, and the activities in which all participate are the chief carriers of control". There are many parallels between the social aspirations of democratic communities and the chamber music ensemble's collaborative social climate of care and mutual responsibility, as evidenced in the forthcoming literature review. Again, given the lack of research examining the chamber music classroom (a topic of immediate relevance to this study), as well as numerous claims that the chamber music ensemble's social environment and processes are democratic, the investigation of this topic is further justified.
12 Social Contexts of Learning School as a democratic institution. Just as Dewey (1916) linked the shared experiences and communication of social groups to a self-renewal of life and community, he further viewed the school as a primary social space for the nurturing and flourishing of "the capacities of the immature" so that they might share in its eventual responsibilities. Through this social, communicative space, we begin to take students beyond the environment they were born into (musically or otherwise) and foster introductions to the diversity of a broader society and its best features through living contact and association (pp. 17-20). Of course, this does not mean that teachers tell students what to think, but rather teachers help students with how to think, so that the student will inevitably become comfortable responding to society's changes and evolutions (Dewey, 1897). Social contexts and attributes of democratic learning environments. Learning environments that are democratically inclined, based on the social collaboration of all participants, should include requisites such as respect, equity, honesty, communication, friendship, toleration, and equal opportunity (Allsup, 2002; Freire, 2000; Woodford, 2005). In these socially constructed learning communities (e.g., schools, classrooms, and practice rooms) students and teachers are challenged to go beyond the obvious learning requisites of cognitive skill-based development, but in the interest of democracy, foster "broad[er] humanist values" (Allsup, 2002, p. 73). Through democratic education, students and teachers are challenged to construct meanings and "test their validity by sharing these constructs with others as they develop shared understandings" (Rallis, 1995, p. 227) within teacher and student created problem solving scenarios (Brookfield,