The Importance Of Group Safety And Different Teaching Methods While Learning To Percieve Rhythms And Musical Structure

Por: Anu Penttinen e Pilvikki Heikinaro-Johansson.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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This study is part of a program designed to plan, administer and evaluate an elective course of music pedagogy in
physical education teacher training. Every physical education teacher should know and be able to perceive the basic
elements and structures of music sufficiently to be able to use music in for example, dance classes. Diverse teaching
methods based on the Orff -pedagogy [1] were used to achieve the goals of the course.

This study was a qualitative case study, defined as action research [2]. Quantitative methods were used to evaluate
students’ skills in repeating beat and beat and special rhythms together. Also students’ perception of the structure of
music was evaluated. The duration of the course was 26 hours and the participants were PE students (N=15). The data
consisted of an observational diary kept by the teacher-researcher (first author) and students’ questionnaires and diaries.
All classes were also videotaped using a single camera.

Perceiving beat and special rhythms in music is the basis for the perception of larger music structures. All students
perceived and managed to repeat the beat. Students made progress during the course in their ability to repeat beat (with
hands) and special rhythms (with feet) together. Table 1 presents the results of three skill tests done at the beginning,
middle and end of the course. The skills were analyzed by systematic observation methods.
According to students’ diaries and conversations in classes, students started listening to and analyzing music in their
leisure time as well. This positive effect was the outcome of the practice done during the course.
A sense of security seemed to be a highly important factor during this course. According to the students’ diaries, acts of
getting to know each other and working in small groups created a sense of security which helped them to learn. In small
groups students gave feedback to each other. Working in small groups also made inventing parts of dances, music or
body percussion rhythms easier. Similarly, the observations made by the teacher indicated that a feeling of security
enabled students to feel relaxed and focus better on learning. According to the Orff-pedagogy, musical elements and
structures were practiced by moving, dancing, singing, rhyming, playing percussion instruments and body percussion.
This gave the students considerable self-confidence.

When an individual feels that his or her abilities are inadequate, an atmosphere of security in the class is essential. Only
then can there be progress in learning. Variation in teaching methods can also offer alternative ways of learning new
skills in combining music and movement.

[1]. Frazee, J. (1987). Discovering Orff. New York: Schott Music Corporation.
[2]. Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2000) Research Methods in Education. London, Routledge Falmer.

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