Psychological aspects of one-on-one instrumental teaching at the tertiary level

Kirsch, Simone Hillary (2006-12)

Thesis (M.Mus.)-- University of Stellenbosch, 2006.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Of an inter-disciplinary nature, this thesis examines certain pertinent psychological aspects with regard to one-on-one instrumental teaching at the tertiary level. It is apparent that this area has not been the focus of much investigation. However, in recent years, together with research into new, forward-thinking philosophies in music education, there has been an examination of some psychological aspects pertaining to instrumental teaching by researchers such as Mackworth-Young (1990), Kennell (2002), and Creech & Hallam (2003). Although most researchers have focused primarily on students of school-going age, more recently attention has begun to be given to tertiary level instrumental teaching. There are many ways to approach one-on-one instrumental teaching. There is no doubt that these have been tried and tested, and, in their own way, have been successful. They range from the traditional to the master-apprenticeship model, the latter most commonly used in university music departments. While it is not the purpose of this thesis to discuss pedagogical principles per se, the researcher proposes a student-centred model based on humanistic trends in psychology, with particular reference to Rogers. This model emphasises the importance of the teacher/student relationship and a holistic view of students. In addition, the developmental stage of university students is investigated in order to provide more insight and understanding of students’ place in the life cycle. Such psychological knowledge can equip teachers with skills, which would assist them to deal with sensitive issues that may be beyond their common sense and expertise. Consequently, the application of these psychological principles to instrumental teaching at the tertiary level is investigated by examining both the teacher/student relationship and a student-centred approach in the studio. A student-centred focus is one where the teacher has a facilitative function. Such a teacher leads students to be proactive and to be full participants in their own learning process. Consequently students would develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. At the same time they would learn how to take responsibility for their actions. In such a milieu they are given the freedom to express themselves without fear of reprisal, and are made aware that they are valued and accepted unconditionally as unique individuals. This kind of environment should encourage the development of both cognitive and affective aspects of their personalities while simultaneously being conducive to optimal learning and to the maximising of their full potential at this stage. This researcher believes that the student-centred approach offers a more humanizing view than the traditional view of teaching. It is not the intention of the researcher to reject other styles of teaching, since it is fully appreciated that there are diverse views, which have their merit and should be recognised. However, there is a need to investigate whether student-centred teaching can be used exclusively, or whether it can offer an alternative to more conventional approaches, working independently of or perhaps complementarily to these.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis is van interdissiplinêre aard en eksamineer daarom pertinente psigologiese aspekte met betrekking tot individuele (een-tot-een) instrumentale onderrig op tersiêre vlak. Klaarblyklik het navorsing nog nie veel op hierdie terrein gefokus nie. In die onlangse verlede is navorsing egter wel gedoen oor nuwe, progressiewe musiekopvoedingsfilosofieë, onder andere in verband met psigologiese aspekte van instrumentale onderrig, deur navorsers soos Mackworth-Young (1990), Kennel (2002), en Creech & Hallam (2003). Hoewel die meeste navorsers primêr op studente van skoolgaande ouderdom gefokus het, is daar meer onlangs begin om aandag te skenk aan instrumentale onderrig op tersiêre vlak. Individuele instrumentale onderrig kan op baie maniere geskied. Ongetwyfeld is hierdie metodes deeglik beproef en is hulle, in eie reg, suksesvol. Dit sluit uitgangspunte in wat strek vanaf die tradisionele- tot die meester-vakleerlingmodel. Laasgenoemde is die model wat oorwegend in musiekdepartemente van universiteite gebruik word. Omdat die primêre doelstelling van hierdie tesis nie die bespreking van pedagogiese beginsels as sodanig is nie, stel die navorser 'n studentgesentreerde model, gebaseer op humanistiese tendense in die sielkunde met besondere verwysing na Rogers, voor. Dié model beklemtoon die belangrikheid van die dosent/studentverhouding asook 'n holistiese siening van studente. Daarbenewens word die persoonlike ontwikkelingsfaktore van universiteitstudente ondersoek met die oog op verkryging van insig in en begrip van die plek wat die studentfase in die lewenssiklus beklee. Sielkundige kennis van dié aard kan dosente vaardighede bied wat kan help om doeltreffend om te gaan met sensitiewe kwessies wat dalk buite die grense van ouderwetse gesonde verstand en vakkennis val. Gevolglik word die toepassing van hierdie psigologiese beginsels op instrumentale onderrig op tersiêre vlak nagespoor deur 'n ondersoek na die dosent/studentverhouding en 'n studentgesentreerde benadering in die onderrigstudio. 'n Studentgesentreerde pedagogiese fokus behels dat die dosent 'n fasiliterende funksie moet verrig. So 'n dosent lei studente om pro-aktief te wees en om volledige deelnemers in hul eie leerproses te word. Studente sal gevolglik kritiese denke en vaardighede in probleemoplossing ontwikkel. Terselfdertyd leer hulle verantwoordelikheid vir hul aksies aanvaar. In so 'n milieu word aan hulle vryheid van selfuitdrukking, sonder vrees vir vergelding, gebied en raak hulle bewus daarvan dat hulle, as unieke individue, onvoorwaardelik aanvaar en waardeer word. Hierdie soort omgewing behoort die ontwikkeling van beide die kognitiewe en affektiewe persoonlikheidsaspekte aan te moedig terwyl dit terselfdertyd bevorderlik is vir optimale leer en die maksimale ontplooiing van hul volle potensiaal op hierdie stadium. Hierdie navorser glo dat die studentgesentreerde benadering 'n meer humaniserende gesigspunt bied as dié van die tradisionele onderrrigmodel(le). Die navorser beoog nie om ander onderrigstyle te verwerp nie, want daar is waardering vir die feit dat diverse merietedraende sienings bestaan wat erkenning verdien. Tog bestaan die behoefte om na te vors of studentgesentreerde onderrig eksklusief gebruik kan word en of dit 'n alternatief kan bied vir meer konvensionele benaderings waarmee dit òf onafhanklik òf dalk komplimenterend in verhouding kan staan.

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