Theses Doctoral

High School Instrumental Students Compose for Band and Orchestra

Hakoda, Kensuke

Composing is widely recognized by both researchers in music education and the NAfME (National Association for Music Education) as an important element in music education. However, composing as a primary activity has still not yet been established as an important aspect of secondary music education, particularly in the large ensemble setting. This study shows the efforts and outcomes of high school instrumental students as they created a notated musical composition for either a concert band or orchestra. What processes and approaches enabled these secondary instrumental students to compose for a large ensemble? What are the characteristics of the completed compositions composed by these secondary instrumental students? What impact did this experience have on the student composers who participated in this activity? In order to answer these research questions, qualitative instrumental case studies were conducted with eight high school instrumentalists, who participated in 7 workshop processes for composers to compose notated composition for either band or orchestra over a 3-month period. Using both expository method and discovery method, I taught and witnessed the processes of these eight students as they explored and discovered their compositions for band or orchestra, which were performed at the final recital. The result revealed that given an appropriate environment and tools, high school instrumental musicians can compose successfully for a large ensemble such as orchestra or band. Although these students had limited background in music theory, they were able to discover ways to create their desired effect by exploring and navigating sounds using the notation software, their primary instrument, and secondary instruments such as a piano. The experience fostered their curiosity for other instruments in the ensemble and nurtured their desire to learn more about them. This research opportunity gave all students a positive musical experience.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Arts and Humanities
Thesis Advisors
Allsup, Randall Everett
Ed.D.C.T., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 10, 2018