Music, School of


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A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Music, Major: Music, Under the Supervision of Professor Stanley V. Kleppinger. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Tanya Krof


This thesis makes the claim that the current American undergraduate music institution does not effectively integrate the skills learned in aural skills courses; as a result, too few students are engaged in the learning process and fail to master the required skills. One common activity used in aural skills courses is melodic dictation, an activity which asks students to notate a performed melody. While activating a multitude of useful skills, melodic dictation could cause a cognitive overload due to demanding too many tasks to be performed simultaneously. A suggestion of implementing Musicking activities—which emphasize music as a process (an act), not an object—is made in order to remedy the problem. After a comprehensive review of existing literature and psychological research, this thesis affirms the need to revise the goals of the current aural skills curriculum and provides desired skill outcomes for the Musicking alternative activities through emphasis of the four Musicking Sets (Fluency, Short-term Memory, Intuition, and Communication), and concludes with examples of the alternative activities which emphasize the Musicking Sets. Finally, this thesis describes avenues for further research to implement a four-semester Musicking curriculum and methods of assessing the overall success rate of the alternative Musicking activities over present aural skills curricula.

Adviser: Stanley V. Kleppinger