Coaching in Applied Music Education: The Solution-focused Approach to Practice and Performance
Author(s)KOH, BO YON
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AbstractThe shift towards student-centred learning has been one of the most significant developments in education in the twentieth century. Many research projects have studied the effectiveness of student-centred instruction in facilitating independent learning. In most private music education settings, however, the traditional culture of master teacher and apprentice roles still exists. This study began as an effort to introduce an environment for student-centred learning for advanced music students while respecting the existing culture in music schools. The client-centred approach in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) parallels many principles of student-centred learning. SFBT is an empirically developed intervention method from social work and counselling therapy disciplines that aims to create clients' preferred future by focusing on strengths and solution precursors. In SFBT, unlike many other intervention models, practitioners assume the non-expert stance in their interaction with clients. SFBT provides the tools and framework to promote student-centred learning without imposing changes to the existing student-teacher relationship. Within the structure of the study, the researcher provided solution-focused private coaching sessions as well as facilitated peer group meetings over one academic semester for eighteen participants studying music performance at the university level. Five withdrew from the study mid-term. Of the thirteen that remained, ten completed all the requirements of the study. The research explores the participating students' experience using primarily a qualitative method. The purpose of the research is to explore how students apply the solution-focused concepts and investigate its influence on students' self-perception and learning. Students' stories describing self-awareness, motivation, and confidence as well as practice productivity and performance strategies are presented in the data chapters. For quantitative data, pre and post-surveys were conducted to assess students' perception on their own performance. Two detailed case studies are presented in this paper.At the conclusion of the research, participants displayed improvements in several areas, including confidence, productivity, and motivation. Several participants have reported successful audition results after the research concluded and credited their success to their experience in the research. The result of this study suggests that solution-focused coaching may be employed as an effective educational tool for advanced music students.