"Let's Rock": Learning Independently through Collaboration at Musica Mundana School of Music

Θαλασσινού Ιωάννα, Ευσταθίου Ρέα

Αναρτημένη Ανακοίνωση

Session Παρουσιάσεις Πόστερ ( Sunday, 17-Apr-22 11:30:00 EEST )

Informal learning has been the focus of music education research for the past twenty years, highlighting its positive impact in music school classrooms (Green, 2008) and one to one instrumental lessons (Varvarigou & Green, 2015).

This research focuses on children’s views, experiences, and suggestions regarding an annual event, “Let’s Rock”, organized by Musica Mundana, a private music school in Cyprus. Instrumental lessons within the school are one to one. Since learning goals and teaching and learning material are formed in collaboration between teachers and students, according to individual student needs, non-formal teaching (Wright, 2016) is characteristic of the setting. Nevertheless, many instrumental and vocal students choose to undertake international exams on western classical music. In this case, emphasis is given on music notation, and the lessons are mostly controlled by the teacher (formal teaching) (Folkestad, 2006). Through “Let’s Rock”, students can learn informally, since they are responsible for finding the repertoire, for organising rehearsals and for the final group performance (Wright, 2016). The school director forms music bands by grouping students of a higher level into groups of 6-9 people. Each band has keyboard, guitar, drum, and vocal students. Some bands may also have wind or string instrument students. One member of each band is responsible for coordinating and problem solving within the group. Each student is free to choose their own way of learning: by ear or from music notation. Additionally, a teacher is assigned to each group as a facilitator, having a mainly supporting role. 

An action research design through a case study methodology was followed, since one of the researchers is the school director and the other was a group facilitator. Furthermore, the researchers wanted to locate and improve weaknesses in the procedure of the event (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016). Questionnaires were given to the 40 music learners participating in the concert, comprised of two scale questions (strongly agree - strongly disagree), two short answer and one long answer question. The researchers received 34 (85%) completed questionnaires. Additionally, a focus group with 6 (15%) participants, was undertaken after the concert. The focus group interview was semi-structured, with piano, guitar and vocal student participants. Students participating in the focus group were chosen according to availability, their role in the band and the instrument they were playing. Thematic analysis of qualitative data from questionnaires and focus group interview generated themes regarding independence, cooperation and teamwork, socialization and friendship, equity, role of facilitator and musical development. Results showed increased confidence in music performance and enhanced development of playing by ear skills. The excitement and need for the music students to participate in alternative experiences such as “Let’s Rock”, highlight the importance of a differentiated music programme based on student’s needs and interests in non-formal educational settings.

  • Μουσικές εμπειρίες στο σχολείο, στο ωδείο και στην κοινότητα
  • Σύνδεση της μουσικής εκπαίδευσης με την καθημερινή ζωή
  • Μουσικές εμπειρίες, δια βίου μουσική μάθηση και ευζωία
  • Η μουσική διδασκαλία-μάθηση σε τυπικά, μη τυπικά και άτυπα περιβάλλοντα
Keywords music school, non formal teaching, informal learning, playing by ear
Language Ελληνική
Author(s) CV

Yianna Thalassinou is the Director of Musica Mundana School of Music since 1991 until present. She is directing all business and artistic school affairs. She completed her bachelor’s degree in the USA as first student of the Music Department, with summa cum laude. Furthermore, she is a holder of Guitar and Theory of Music diploma and the conductor of Musica Mundana Children Choir and Genesis Adult Choir. Since 2016, she is the President of The Cyprus Music Schools Association. She also serves as Vice President of Education, Arts and Quality of Education Committee in Cyprus Parallel Parliament for Culture.

Rea Efstathiou is a candidate for the PhD of Music Education, in the Department of Arts at European University Cyprus. Since the completion of her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in music in the UK, she has been teaching piano and theory of music at Musica Mundana school of music in Nicosia. Her philosophy of teaching focuses on the uniqueness of each one of her students, promoting cooperation and development through music. Children’s musical experiences and views, music teaching and learning in school and the community, lifelong musical development as well as music and well-being are some of her research interests.