Towards lifelong musical enjoyment: The application of the Self-Determination Theory and musical understanding during individual instrumental lessons

Janse van Rensburg, Lisa-Mari Alexandra (2017-12)

Thesis (MMus)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Music learners, in some cases, cease the learning of their musical instruments. This may be due to various factors. However, many of the reasons can be associated with diminished enjoyment. For learners to enjoy music lifelong, benefitting from the value it can add to their lives, ways must be found for them not wanting to cease their learning. It is therefore necessary that music teachers find ways in which enjoyment can be maintained. This was the main purpose of this study. It aimed to determine how instrumental music teachers can apply the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) and teach musical understanding to promote musical enjoyment. The main question was partially addressed through a literature review of both SDT and musical understanding, and mainly through multiple case studies of four instrumental teachers’ learners and their lessons. These lessons took place at four different primary schools in the Western Cape. The researcher observed and transcribed the lessons, all the learners completed a SDT questionnaire, and commented on their experience of enjoyment. The transcriptions of lessons and the comments that learners wrote were coded according to a pre-determined framework of SDT and musical understanding. The qualitative data from the questionnaires were used to give an overview of the four teachers’ support of SDT, and to support the findings from the qualitative data. Teachers’ support of SDT and musical understanding were found to contribute towards musical enjoyment. Furthermore, specific ways in which teachers can do this, came from examples of the lessons and learners’ written comments. It was also found that the correct actions according to the parameters of this study do not always guarantee that learners feel supported in a SDT sense, as there may possibly be other factors that can impact their experiences of their music learning. With regards to musical understanding, it was found that the teachers in this study prioritise it in their lessons. However, learners lacked an integrated understanding of theory and practice. Some ways of thinking and knowing seemed to be neglected in instrumental lessons. Further study is recommended in how learners perceive their teachers. Another opportunity for further research is learners showing introjected regulation, despite their teachers’ actions that should theoretically result in more internalised forms of motivation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Musiekleerders staak in sommige gevalle hulle instrumentale onderrig. Verskeie faktore kan hiertoe bydra. Menige van hierdie redes hou egter verband met ʼn afname in genot. Vir leerders om musiek lewenslank te geniet en voordeel te trek uit die waarde wat dit tot hulle lewens kan voeg, moet maniere gevind word om hulle aan te moedig om nie hulle instrumentale onderrig te staak nie. Dit is dus nodig dat musiekonderwysers maniere vind om leerders hul genot te laat behou. Dit is dan ook die hoofdoel van hierdie studie. Die studie poog om vas te stel hoe musiekonderwysers die selfdeterminasieteorie (SDT) kan toepas terwyl musikale begrip aan leerders geleer word sodat musikale genot bevorder word. Die hoofvraag is gedeeltelik deur ʼn literatuuroorsig van sowel SDT as musikale begrip ondersoek, en hoofsaaklik deur veelvoudige gevallestudies van vier instrumentale onderwysers en hul leerders se lesse. Hierdie lesse het by vier verskillende laerskole in die Wes-Kaap plaasgevind. Die navorser het die lesse waargeneem en getranskribeer en al die leerders het ʼn SDT-vraelys voltooi en kommentaar gelewer op hulle ervaring van musikale genot. Die transkripsies van lesse en die leerders se geskrewe kommentaar is volgens ʼn vooropgestelde raamwerk van SDT en musikale begrip gekodeer. Die kwantitatiewe data uit die vraelys is gebruik om ʼn oorsig oor SDT-ondersteuning in die leerders te gee en om die bevindings uit die kwalitatiewe data te staaf. Die resultate bewys dat onderwysers se ondersteuning van SDT en musikale begrip bydra tot musikale genot. Verder dui voorbeelde uit die lesse en geskrewe kommentaar deur die leerders spesifieke maniere aan waarop onderwysers laasgenoemde kan bewerkstellig. Daar is ook bevind dat onderwysers se korrekte optredes volgens die maatstawwe van die studie nie altyd kan waarborg dat leerders ondersteun voel op ʼn SDT-gebied nie, aangesien daar ander moontlike faktore is wat hulle ervarings van die musikale leerproses beïnvloed. Wat musikale begrip betref, is daar bevind dat die onderwysers in hierdie studie dit in hulle lesse prioritiseer. Leerders het egter getoon dat ʼn geïntegreerde begrip van teorie en praktyk steeds kortkom. Sommige wyses van musikale dink en weet blyk verwaarloos te word in instrumentale onderrig. Verdere studie in leerders se persepsie van hul onderwysers word aanbeveel. Daar is ook die moontlikheid vir verdere navorsing in hoekom leerders toon dat hulle staatmaak op introjeksie-regulasie ten spyte van onderwysers se optrede wat teoreties tot meer geïnternaliseerde tipes motivering behoort te lei.

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