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Musically gifted students and promoted vigor: A grounded theory guiding instructional practices for teachers of musically gifted students in school music

Timothy Claire Fredstrom, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to understand musically gifted students' perspective on their school music experience. The research design grounded theory was used in this inquiry. Twenty-one musically gifted students were identified using Renzulli's Three-Ring Conception of Giftedness, a model that identifies giftedness as the intersection of above-average ability, creativity, and task commitment. The informants were interviewed and were asked to describe (a) their musical life, (b) things that motivated them in school music, (c) things that frustrated them in school music, and (d) their ideas about what would make a perfect school music experience for them. The informants' responses were tape recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using grounded theory analysis procedures. ^ The analysis indicated that the informants' perspectives of their school music experience were influenced by four categories of musical characteristics: (a) musical commitment, (b) musical success, (c) musical passion, and (d) musical awareness. The informants described their musical beginnings as happening both in-school music classes and in out-of-school musical involvement. There was a point in the informants' life, in about middle school, when they became vigorously involved in music, again taking place both in-school music classes and in out-of-school musical involvement. The informants moved between describing their in-school experiences and their out-of-school experiences with great fluidity as they told their stories. Further, their musical characteristics influenced their perceptions of these experiences. ^ As the data was analyzed, it became clear that the informants' satisfaction in school music was greatest when vigor was promoted, and conversely their satisfaction was decreased when vigor was impeded. This was the central phenomenon of the study. The informants specifically described aspects of their experiences that they perceived to effect vigorous musical involvement when they described: (a) their teachers, (b) the instruction they received, (c) the opportunities available to them, (d) musical excellence, and (e) their relationships with other students in school music classes. A theory of how music educators can promote vigor for musically gifted students in their classes is presented. ^

Subject Area

Education, Music|Education, Special

Recommended Citation

Fredstrom, Timothy Claire, "Musically gifted students and promoted vigor: A grounded theory guiding instructional practices for teachers of musically gifted students in school music" (1999). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9951289.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI9951289

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