Tune, tot and kin: constructing music praxis in a humanities course for undergraduate nonmusic majors
AbstractThesis (Ph. D.)--University of Washington, 2005.
This is a case study of Tune, Tot, and Kin (pseudonym), a three-credit course presented over one ten-week academic quarter to satisfy a humanities requirement for undergraduate students in a major state-funded university in the northwestern United States. The purpose of this ethnographic study is to describe and interpret processes and products of a curriculum in which university students utilized their own childhood experiences and community musics as a foundation for constructing praxis for musicking with children. Of ninety-three students who completed the course, seventy-three were study participants.Five questions were posed. (1) What were the extent and nature of songs known by university students prior to beginning formal instruction in the course? (2) What was the capability of university students to collect and document their community musics? (3) What were the conceptual categories into which university students placed musical materials? (4) What strategies did university students use to present musical expressions of diverse cultures? (5) Were reluctant adult singers able to prepare and perform within small groups of their peers?Constructivism and action learning were guiding principles in curriculum planning. Students worked individually and cooperatively in a noncompetitive classroom environment. Ethnographic techniques were employed to facilitate students in remembering, collecting, and organizing musical materials acquired in their formative years. Students used ethnomusicological methods to record and document the singing of family and friends. Students conducted ethnographic interviews, created evaluation guides for children's television programs, and presented musical expressions of diverse cultures through singing, movement, and rhythmic chant.Students listed an average of thirty-seven songs known from childhood. Categories relating to media, formal tuition, and religious faith garnered the greatest number of song nominations. Two-thirds of songs listed as known from childhood were singletons nominated by no more than one individual and collaborative group. Students collected songs in Arabic, English, German, Hawaiian, Korean, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish, and Vietnamese. Their peers designated culture-bearing and culturally competent students as spokespersons for group song presentations, and the groups of reluctant singers presented nonpitched rhythmic chants. Historical background of course development is provided based on archival documents and interviews with former instructors.