Event Title

Teacher Leadership in Determing the Role of Evaluative Performances in Piano Students' Musical Development

Start Date

1-6-2011 2:00 PM

End Date

1-6-2011 2:30 PM

Description

Evaluative performances, such as festivals and examinations, frequently play an important role in the musical education of piano students. Teachers and parents often believe that having students participate in these evaluations ensures a higher quality of instruction (Babin, 2005; Tye, 2004) and higher levels of student motivation (Davidson and Scutt, 1999). Evaluative performances are also touted as opportunities for students to learn from the adjudicator’s feedback. Drawing on data collected in a qualitative investigation of beginning and intermediate piano students’ experiences participating in evaluative performances, I will examine these assumptions and will provide guidelines for teachers in deciding when and how to incorporate evaluations in their students’ learning. Based on the interviews I have conducted with both current and former students, students experience evaluative performances in a positive way when they begin their piano studies with high levels of intrinsic motivation, choose to participate in festivals and exams, enjoy the repertoire that is part of the syllabus, value the formal recognition of achievement that is offered in a graded system, feel confident performing in front of others, and feel supported but not pressured by parents and teachers. Students who are less interested in learning the piano in general, who are forced to participate in evaluative performances, who find the required repertoire uninteresting, who do not value receiving grades and certificates, who experience debilitating performance anxiety, or who feel that their needs are unsupported or misunderstood by parents and teachers have much less positive views of festivals and examinations. Many students work toward an evaluative performance for an extended period of time, meaning that the way in which they experience the evaluative process can easily colour their views of piano study in general. Because highly trained teachers have nearly always participated successfully in a variety of evaluations themselves, they can sometimes assume that festivals and examinations are a necessary part of learning to play the piano, rather than approaching the learning process of each student in a more individualized fashion (Zenker, 2004). My research urges teachers to examine their practice and the assumptions that they have developed as a result of the ways in which they might have been taught. Parents and students are often introduced to festivals and examinations by teachers; therefore, it is crucial that teachers understand the various factors that influence how students experience these assessments and in what circumstances evaluative performances enhance students’ learning and overall impressions of piano study. When teachers have a rich and multi-faceted understanding of these important issues, they can use their position of leadership to ensure that all students engage in activities that will promote positive, meaningful learning experiences.

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Jun 1st, 2:00 PM Jun 1st, 2:30 PM

Teacher Leadership in Determing the Role of Evaluative Performances in Piano Students' Musical Development

Evaluative performances, such as festivals and examinations, frequently play an important role in the musical education of piano students. Teachers and parents often believe that having students participate in these evaluations ensures a higher quality of instruction (Babin, 2005; Tye, 2004) and higher levels of student motivation (Davidson and Scutt, 1999). Evaluative performances are also touted as opportunities for students to learn from the adjudicator’s feedback. Drawing on data collected in a qualitative investigation of beginning and intermediate piano students’ experiences participating in evaluative performances, I will examine these assumptions and will provide guidelines for teachers in deciding when and how to incorporate evaluations in their students’ learning. Based on the interviews I have conducted with both current and former students, students experience evaluative performances in a positive way when they begin their piano studies with high levels of intrinsic motivation, choose to participate in festivals and exams, enjoy the repertoire that is part of the syllabus, value the formal recognition of achievement that is offered in a graded system, feel confident performing in front of others, and feel supported but not pressured by parents and teachers. Students who are less interested in learning the piano in general, who are forced to participate in evaluative performances, who find the required repertoire uninteresting, who do not value receiving grades and certificates, who experience debilitating performance anxiety, or who feel that their needs are unsupported or misunderstood by parents and teachers have much less positive views of festivals and examinations. Many students work toward an evaluative performance for an extended period of time, meaning that the way in which they experience the evaluative process can easily colour their views of piano study in general. Because highly trained teachers have nearly always participated successfully in a variety of evaluations themselves, they can sometimes assume that festivals and examinations are a necessary part of learning to play the piano, rather than approaching the learning process of each student in a more individualized fashion (Zenker, 2004). My research urges teachers to examine their practice and the assumptions that they have developed as a result of the ways in which they might have been taught. Parents and students are often introduced to festivals and examinations by teachers; therefore, it is crucial that teachers understand the various factors that influence how students experience these assessments and in what circumstances evaluative performances enhance students’ learning and overall impressions of piano study. When teachers have a rich and multi-faceted understanding of these important issues, they can use their position of leadership to ensure that all students engage in activities that will promote positive, meaningful learning experiences.