Date of Award
Open Access Dissertation
School of Music
Wendy H. Valerio
In this study, I examined how kindergarten students and a music teacher engaged in social music interactions and displayed music characteristics during harmonic improvisation activities. The purpose of this study was (a) to describe social music interactions between kindergarten students and a music teacher and (b) to categorize and to describe kindergarten students’ and a music teacher’s vocal music improvisations during harmonic improvisation activities. The guiding research questions were (a) RQ1: How did kindergarten students and a music teacher engage in social music interactions during harmonic improvisation activities?, (b) RQ2a: What music characteristics did kindergarten students and a music teacher exhibit during harmonic improvisation activities?, and (c) RQ2b: How did kindergarten students and a music teacher exhibit music characteristics during harmonic improvisation activities?
I purposefully selected four kindergarten students and a music teacher as participants in this qualitative design. Although I initially designed this study as an embedded, single-case study, I determined that this single methodological design was insufficient for the emergent needs of the study. Using qualitative bricolage, I combined elements of embedded, multiple-case study methodologies and video-cued ethnography methodologies to investigate the participants’ social music interactions and vocal music improvisations during harmonic improvisation activities. Three early childhood music development specialists participated in individual video-cued interviews to supplement the design with additional perspectives. I collected video- and audio-recorded data, written observations and reflections, interview data, and I created music transcriptions of the kindergarten students’ and the music teacher’s vocal music improvisations. I used in vivo, process, descriptive, and pattern coding procedures to analyze the data.
I determined five themes regarding social music interactions and vocal music improvisations during harmonic improvisation activities: (a) the participants engaged in a serve and return music community; (b) the music teacher facilitated harmonic improvisation activities using a flexible activity sequence and macro-level and micro-level teaching structures; (c) the music teacher’s vocal music improvisations included singing within the established music context, predictable phrasing, and repetition; (d) the kindergarten students’ vocal music improvisations included singing, chanting, and other sounds that the adult participants perceived as conforming and not conforming to the established music context; and (e) the participants improvised using personal improvisation vocabularies and personal vocal music improvisation characteristics. I wrote vignettes to illuminate five themes within the context of the harmonic improvisation activities. Implications and recommendations for early childhood music development specialists, policymakers, and researchers are discussed.
Arrasmith, K. K.(2022). Social Music Interactions and Vocal Music Improvisations in a Serve and Return Music Community. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/6616