Comprehensive Musicanship Research: Implications for Addressing the National Standards in Music Ensemble Classes
A review of literature related to comprehensive musicianship that focuses on 25 studies in three categories - research on student achievement and attitudes, research on teaching practices, and research on teaching materials, teacher beliefs, and teacher training - is presented. While research on student achievement and attitude reveals many approaches to comprehensive musicianship, results are uniformly positive. Music achievement scores were consistently higher for students taught using a comprehensive approach and/or also improved significantly over time. Research on teaching practices shows that instrumental and choral ensemble instructors do not typically employ strategies or address objectives that will result in a comprehensive education and musical independence for their students. Research suggests that many ensemble instructors may not value long-term outcomes associated with comprehensive musicianship, preferring instead to emphasize instruction that immediately improves student peformance. The following are recommendatios fo implementing national and state music standards in ensemble classes: (1) Establish realistic implementation goals. (2) Promote research-based decision-making. (3) Support and empower teachers.