Proposal Title

Impacts of Experiential Learning and Music Making in Music Theory

Proposal Abstract

This presentation describes an innovative redesign of music theory curricula, which traditionally rely on written exercises for assessment, to feature hands-on music making at the piano as a central component of the instructional design. Using technology, students learn experientially and aurally through activities that apply their theoretical understanding to creative tasks such as improvisation and composition. Quantitative and qualitative results from an impact study completed in fall 2013 are shared, which show not only a marked impact on how (and how well) students learned music theory, but also a dramatic expansion of what (i.e., which skills) they acquired in the course and a positive shift in their attitudes about the value and relevance of music theory.

By hearing about this pedagogical intervention and its documented results, discussing them, and participating in a question-and-answer dialogue, audience members will be able to articulate the value of creative activities and applied, authentic assessment to the teaching and learning of highly technical and systematic concepts; to understand the effects of active and experiential learning more broadly. Though focused on disciplinary teaching within music theory, the presentation emphasizes findings that can be applied just as well in other pedagogical fields.

Location

Room 2002

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Mar 27th, 9:00 AM Mar 27th, 9:45 AM

Impacts of Experiential Learning and Music Making in Music Theory

Room 2002

This presentation describes an innovative redesign of music theory curricula, which traditionally rely on written exercises for assessment, to feature hands-on music making at the piano as a central component of the instructional design. Using technology, students learn experientially and aurally through activities that apply their theoretical understanding to creative tasks such as improvisation and composition. Quantitative and qualitative results from an impact study completed in fall 2013 are shared, which show not only a marked impact on how (and how well) students learned music theory, but also a dramatic expansion of what (i.e., which skills) they acquired in the course and a positive shift in their attitudes about the value and relevance of music theory.

By hearing about this pedagogical intervention and its documented results, discussing them, and participating in a question-and-answer dialogue, audience members will be able to articulate the value of creative activities and applied, authentic assessment to the teaching and learning of highly technical and systematic concepts; to understand the effects of active and experiential learning more broadly. Though focused on disciplinary teaching within music theory, the presentation emphasizes findings that can be applied just as well in other pedagogical fields.