Theses Doctoral

Motivating and Engaging the Music Learner in Jazz

Buttermann, Matthew Garry

This study investigated the motivating and engaging factors of jazz programs present in the learning environments of avocational jazz musicians in higher education. The investigation explored these factors as perceived by the learners themselves as well as the educators tasked with creating enriching musical experiences for their college students. The student participants for this study consisted of college students currently enrolled at a liberal arts college in the NorthAbeles, east, all of whom perform in the jazz ensemble at their institution. The setting of liberal arts colleges was chosen for the study as an environment where students are actively learning and performing jazz music while pursuing other academic interests more closely related of their desired future professional goals. The educator participants came from the same institutions and provided data in specific regard to their experiences working with this unique population of jazz learners. Students reported their motivations were peaked by the social element inherent to the ensemble experience, their desire to exercise their creativity, and the value of diverse learning environment as part of their overall college experience. On the other hand, educators from the same institutions found that they were best serving their students by demonstrating their own enthusiasm for the music, demonstrating the critical thinking element of jazz learning, and understanding that the students more closely relate the ensemble to a recreational activity available at the college.
The study gathered data from focus group interviews with 49 students and 6 one-on-one interviews with jazz educators at liberal arts colleges. The questions for these interviews and focus groups were derived from an earlier pilot study of the same population of jazz learners and liberal arts music educators, and the analysis paralleled reported findings to relevant motivational theories and pedagogical practices common to jazz performance education.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Arts and Humanities
Thesis Advisors
Abeles, Harold F.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
March 7, 2019