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 Robert H. Woody. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2015

Copyright (c) 2015 Nicole A. Chapman


The Framework for 21st Century Learning identifies four learning and innovation skills to prepare students for a changing world. The 4Cs identified are critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity (Framework for 21st Century Learning, 2015). With the adoption of this new teaching framework, it is important that music educators evaluate their own teaching methods to meet the needs of their students in a changing society. The purpose of this study was to examine how cooperative group learning is currently integrated in the Orff-Schulwerk certified teachers’ elementary music classroom as part of the creative music process. In this qualitative study, I interviewed seven elementary music teachers in Omaha, Nebraska, to examine their roles as planners and organizers of creative and collaborative opportunities for students. The teachers were selected using a criterion-based sample (Creswell, 2013). Participants teach elementary general music and are certified in the Orff Schulwerk process. Grounded theory technique was used to extract themes or codes from the interviews (Creswell, 2013). Data was open, axial, and selective coded. Categories emerged and were broken into themes and dimensionalized examples. Three major roles of the teachers emerged as themes from the data: modelers, facilitators, and developers. All three themes show the importance of the teachers in the collaborative music creation process and their desire to develop the “whole child” through collaborative music creation. The themes are broken down further to show how Orff-Schulwerk teachers use group learning to enhance the creative development of their students. Themes discovered may guide future development opportunities for music educators to meet the needs of their students in a changing society.

Advisor: Robert H. Woody