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Training the string player’s ear: a comparative study

Fischer, Hester Gerbregter (2018-03)

Thesis (MMus)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aural training offered to string instrumentalists in tertiary education is the focus of this investigation. Knowledge of sound and directed application of aural skills have been shown to have a positive influence on the performance skills of musicians and should therefore be afforded research time and space. Research has shown that studying and teaching string-specific aural training contributes significantly to the education and training of aspiring string musicians. Much research supports the hypothesis that there is a definite need for string-specific aural training at tertiary education institutions. A few international institutions (not accessible to English-only students) are already successfully implementing string-specific aural training. However, these practises have failed to produce encompassing English literature on string-specific aural training and method. Although extensive research into the concepts and general skills of aural training has been conducted, literature in English on string-specific aural training is limited. The question of how to train the string student’s ear begs investigation and development. A logical point of departure in addressing this gap in music teaching would be to find out what is currently being taught to string students. Once this scenario is clear, it can be compared to what aural training is required by the string student according to international research and literature. The object of this study was to describe the basic aural needs of the string student as portrayed by literature and to determine what is currently being taught to string students, in three different regions (United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Scandinavia). This thesis presents findings from this comparison between the aural needs and the currently taught aural skills in these regions. The knowledge gained from the study indicates that even though aspects of the aural research field is ancient, and known, academic research findings is not generally reflected in the practice of aural training of students. Investigation into the methods used was conducted through an ethically considerate survey in which an online questionnaire was presented to the persons responsible for a string student’s tertiary education. The survey is not a representative sample of the regions of the study, because of the low number of respondents. This could be attributed to the e-mail distribution method which has become suspect as a result of cybercrime that makes respondents wary of responding to e-mail questionnaires. However, the secondary findings are more pertinent. The comparison was drawn between the areas identified by the participants as important aural areas, what the participants include in their teaching, and the literature. The study found that there is very low interest among pedagogues in the aural training field and that the impact of aural training (or the lack thereof) on their subject is misunderstood.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die gehooropleiding van strykinstrumentaliste in hul tersiêre opleidingsfase is die fokus in hierdie ondersoek. Kennis van gehoorvaardighede het 'n groot invloed op die prestasievaardigheid van musici en behoort dus navorsingstyd en ruimte gebied te word. Daar is bewyse wat die hipotese vir die behoefte aan stryk-spesifieke gehooropleiding by tersiêre onderwysinstellings ondersteun. 'n Paar instansies (nie toeganklik vir Engelstalige studente nie) implementeer reeds stryk-spesifieke gehooropleiding. Hierdie praktyke lewer egter nie 'n volledige Engelstalige literatuur oor stryk-spesifieke gehooropleiding en -metodes nie. Uitgebreide navorsing oor die konsepte- en algemene vaardighede van gehooropleiding is beskikbaar, met baie min literatuur oor stryk-spesifieke gehooropleiding. Die vraag bly egter, hoe om die strykstudente se gehoor te ontwikkel. Dit was dus wenslik om uit te vind wat tans aan strykstudente aangebied word en dit te vergelyk met die vaardighede wat benodig word deur die strykstudent. Die doel van hierdie studie was om die basiese gehoorbehoeftes van die strykstudent te beskryf asook dit wat tans aan strykstudente geleer word in drie verskillende gebiede (Verenigde Koninkryk, die Verenigde State van Amerika en Skandinawië). Hierdie tesis bied die bevindinge van 'n vergelykende studie tussen die gehoorbehoeftes en die gehoorvaardighede wat tans aangebied word aan. Die resultaat dui daarop dat alhoewel aspekte in die gehoornavorsingsveld oud en bekend is, akademiese navorsing bevindinge nie gewoonlik in die praktyk van gehooropleiding aan studente weerspieël word nie. Ondersoek na die metodes wat gebruik word, is deur middel van 'n opname uitgevoer wat aan etiese oorwegings voldoen het. 'n Digitale vraelys is aan die persone wat vir die strykstudent se tersiêre opleiding verantwoordelik is, gestuur. Hierdie kwantitatiewe studie kan nie as verteenwoordigende steekproef van die gebiede beskou word nie, as gevolg van die lae aantal respondente. Dit kan toegeskryf word aan die e-pos verspreidingsmetode wat minder betroubaar is weens kubermisdaad waar respondente versigtig is om op e-pos vraelyste te reageer. Die sekondêre bevindinge is wel meer relevant. Die vergelyking is getref tussen die areas wat deur die deelnemers as belangrike gehooropleidings-gebiede geïdentifiseer is, dit wat die deelnemers in hul onderrig insluit, en dit wat in die literatuur voorkom. Die resultate van die studie het bevind dat daar 'n baie lae belangstelling onder pedagoë in die gehooropleidingsveld is en dat hulle nie die implikasie van gehooropleiding oor hul vak verstaan nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103786
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