Exploring the use of boomwhackers musical tubes in formal education: a qualitative research with music teachers

Μίντζα Μαρίνα

Προφορική Ανακοίνωση

Session Στάσεις, αντιλήψεις και τάσεις των εκπαιδευτικών μουσικής ( Sunday, 17-Apr-22 10:00:00 EEST )

The developments of the last decades in the science of Pedagogy have exerted a great influence on Music Pedagogy. The theories of the representatives of constructivism Dewey (1966), Bruner (1961), Piaget (1971), but also of social constructivism represented by Vygotsky (1978), laid the foundations for the creation of a new form of educational learning, according to which the individual really learns when he constructs knowledge of his own through his active participation in the educational process and his interaction with the environment (Scott, 2011). In the same vein, the adoption of informal practices, such us the acquisition of knowledge through the development of the students’ experiences as musicians and the interactive group learning in conventional music education, contribute to linking students’ previous extracurricular experiences with classroom teaching (Savvidou, 2013). In this context, music educators are experimenting with the integration of new teaching approaches, such as boomwhackers, in order to provide meaningful musical experiences to their students. 

            Boomwhackers as melodic percussion instruments manage to combine melody with rhythm, harmony and movement, thus being an easy-to-easy tool for the experiential teaching of Music Curriculum (Kacar, 2014). A typical example is the curriculum developed in public schools in Norway by the Oslo Public Library (Kunish, 2010). Ιn addition, Wong (2016)-in the only published (so far) research on the use of boomwhackers in formal education- states the positive benefits that students derive from teaching popular songs through group work. The present research, coming to help fill this research gap, aims to inform the music pedagogical community about the use of this new educational tool, by first investigating the ways and practices used by music teachers. In the next step, the reasons why they decide to use them in the context of formal education are examined.

The research was conducted on the basis of qualitative research method. Specifically, the data were collected through semi-structured interviews of five music educators working in five different cities in Greece. The results showed the following: the musical tubes are used in the first four elementary grades for learning the rhythm and performance of children's songs, in the last two elementary grades for harmonious accompaniment of popular music and in high school level they are related to other aspects of the Curriculum. In particular, in the Music High School, they can be used to create a musical ensemble. Music educators develop specific practices related to the way sound is produced, notation, teaching approach and repertoire. Concerning the reasons for the integration of musical tubes into music teaching, teachers reported both educational and music benefits. Through the findings of the research, it is found that boomwhackers can be a useful educational tool for the music educators who want to organize their lesson based on modern music pedagogical approaches and at the same time solve problems such as the absence of musical instruments and especially melodic ones. However, it is necessary to train music teachers on the use of boomwhackers both for teaching and other elements in music besides rhythm and songs as well as for the implementation of collaborative activities.   

  • Μουσικές εμπειρίες στο σχολείο, στο ωδείο και στην κοινότητα
  • Η μουσική διδασκαλία-μάθηση σε τυπικά, μη τυπικά και άτυπα περιβάλλοντα
  • Διδακτική μουσικών οργάνων και μουσικών συνόλων: φιλοσοφία, μεθοδολογίες και καλές πρακτικές
Keywords musical tubes boomwhackers, formal education, practices, benefits, music teachers.
Language Ελληνική
Author(s) CV

Marina Mintza has been working as a music teacher at Primary Schools since 2005 and as a music educator in conservatories and Centers for Creative Education. She holds a Master's Degree in Music Education from the Department of Music Studies (NKUA), Advanced Theory, and is a graduate of the Two-Year Training Workshop of Artistic and Creative Education "ANIMA". She contributes with experiential workshops to conferences, workshops, and music teachers' training programs. In 2018, she released the book "Games with the Musical Tubes Boomwhackers" (published by Fagottobooks) in which she participated as a co-author. She believes that “music is first discovered and then learned’’ and that is why learning music through experiential activities is at the core of her music teaching.