Promoting Self Directed Learning And Reflective Practice Education Essay

Professional guitar players work in an highly competitory environment. They must be able to present skilled public presentations in a broad scope of fortunes from the phase to the studio, as solo performing artists or as portion of a group and frequently under great force per unit area. To be able to work in this environment musicians rely upon the constitution of a deep apprehension of music theory and its application along with a refined technique that addresses public presentation issues such as timing, tone and control. In order to accomplish this they have to develop an adaptive, adept attack to the continual development of their musical accomplishments.

The peculiar issue in this instance relates to my guitar pupils at the North West Regional College. One of the units I teach is called Music Performance Techniques ( MPT ) . My pupils are all male, aged between 17 and 19. They are all extremely motivated guitar players. Their attitude towards practicing is by and large rather good but most tend non to concentrate on their weak points and alternatively reiterate things they already know.

In add-on to this, their contextual consciousness of music theory is rather hapless. Arguably, a deficiency of apprehension of cardinal facets of music theory will impede a guitar pupils ‘ development and, accordingly, their employment chances. Their deficiency of cognition associating to music theory is in portion due to the fact they are popular music pupils and non classically trained. Many of them did non analyze music at secondary degree. This issue is non alone to the North West Regional College. Green ‘s research ( 2001 ) revealed that it is normal for people outside formal instruction to larn popular music in an co-dependent manner, chiefly through single autonomous work, rarely under the way of an skilled tutor/mentor, and often in coaction with other practicians. More and more, in the music section we are prosecuting with instrumentalists who are self-taught or have relied on a assortment of media ( books, magazines, web sites etc ) to spread out their musical ability. Additionally, the quality of private instruction that some have received varies tremendously. As a consequence, a big proportion of our music pupils need aid in the betterment of their structured pattern programmes. A survey by Jorgensen ( 1998 ) suggested that music pupils did non look to prosecute in pattern planning.

Resnick ( 1987 ) contrasted the differences between formal, in school acquisition, and informal, out-of-school work. Her premiss was that formal schooling is ‘a scene in which to larn regulations ‘ ( p. 15 ) , and those pupils are discouraged from conveying their informally acquired cognition into this sphere. This issue highlights the demand to do the music instruction experience profoundly meaningful for the scholar. In order to turn to this concern, Sloboda, Davidson, & A ; Howe ( 1994 ) suggested that by analyzing the musical environment pupils create when they make music that is meaningful to them, and conveying its rules into the schoolroom, it would cultivate more success for the pupils

So by taking all this information and morphing it into an over-arching instruction scheme I hoped to turn to some of the current issues confronting both me and my pupils.

Therefore, portion of the purpose of this undertaking was to cultivate a deeper apprehension of their instrument in an environment that was contributing to meaningful acquisition and creativeness. By implanting music theory through fretboard visual image techniques, the pupils would hopefully get down expression at the guitar in an wholly new manner that would advance an involvement on their portion for farther elaborate probe and contemplation.

Analysis by McCormick and McPherson ( 2003 ) suggested that, ‘in motivational footings… self-efficacy was the best forecaster of existent public presentation. ‘

The development of the pupils ‘ self-efficacy focused on two countries: acquiring the pupils to physically being able to play with eloquence and sleight, and geting at that point through a logical and structured pattern modus operandi. Whilst the pupils ‘ pattern governments are good. Many tend non to concentrate on their weak points and alternatively reiterate things they already know. By developing and utilizing a structured brooding pattern modus operandi, the pupils can ‘take apart ‘ and ‘break down ‘ the countries of their playing that demand attending logically. The intended accessory benefits of this attack are developments in tone production, rhythmic control and timing. All of which are built-in to music pupils ‘ development.

By increasing the pupils ‘ degrees of metacognition, the consciousness of their ain cognitive development and their ain self-regulation, or “ cognizing about cognizing ” through a brooding and dedicated attack to pattern, I hoped that the pupils would be able to maximize their betterments. Music pupils high in self-efficacy are more likely to be cognitively and metacognitively involved in analyzing the stuff compared with pupils low in self-efficacy. ( Nielsen 2004 )

Harmonizing to McPherson ( 2003 ) pupils ‘ feelings of assurance about their ability to larn or execute a undertaking may play an of import function in advancing and prolonging their schemes in pattern, and may therefore go a cardinal factor act uponing the success of their pattern Sessionss.

Establishing clear dry run ends and/or structuring pattern clip are coupled with increased sums of pattern. ( Geringer and Kostka, 1981 ) .

The best manner to unify and beef up practical musical accomplishments is to rehearse and so execute. A broad diverseness of music and state of affairss will implement and spread out each performing artist ‘s techniques and unwrap where farther readying is needed. Learners will be encouraged to utilize proficient accomplishments creatively and use them to heighten artistic look.

The application of larning theories

The research phase of this undertaking began with an scrutiny of some of the assorted larning theories and seeing how they could use to my ain instruction patterns. The learning theories that resonated most with me were the societal acquisition theories, peculiarly the work of Vygotsky and Bandura.

Action Research

McNiff ( 2002 ) compactly outlines the assorted phases of action research. ‘Identifying a debatable issue, conceive ofing a possible solution, seeking it out, measuring it ( did it work? ) , and altering pattern in the visible radiation of the rating. ‘ ( p.6 )

After a period of analysis and contemplation, I applied these phases into a personal context.

The issue: Lack of ‘directed ‘ self-learning and apprehension of music theory.

The solution: Introduce a system that embeds the theory and promotes self-learning.

Execution: Teach the system to the pupils through a assortment of agencies and media.

Evaluation: foremost set up what sort of scholars are my pupils ( VAK ) and so utilize a assortment of assessment schemes to measure the true extent of pupil acquisition, i.e. pattern journals, peer appraisal and assessor observations.

Contemplation: What grounds is at that place that a fretboard visual image attack improves public presentation criterions and embeds music theory? What impact does autonomous larning have on the pupils ‘ musical development?

Now that I had established the purpose of the undertaking, my following measure was to contextualise some of the assorted larning theories into my Music Performance Techniques ( MPT ) category. The MPT category provided the ideal context in which to use elements of societal larning theory.

Social constructivism

Vygotsky ( 1971 ) suggests that during engagement in the humanistic disciplines people bring their ‘most confidant and personal facets. . . into the circle of societal life ‘ ( p. 249 ) . One of the advantages of the Music Performance Techniques faculty is that I become involved in the pupils ‘ music devising as one of the instrumentalists. By making so, I become a stronger function theoretical account of an active performing artist. As the coach or More Knowing Other ( MKO ) I can work with the pupils to assist them do music that is technically outside their current musical ability ( Vygotsky ‘s Zone of Proximal Development ) .

In the societal constructivist ‘s schoolroom, pupils create a community of scholars where corporate experiences create new significances.

Gaston ( 1968 ) suggested that, “ The power of music is most powerful in the group. ” Gunsberg ( 1991 ) states that music can unite group members through beat and tune, and offer leading chances to persons.

Knowles et Al. ( 1998 ) observed, ‘On the one manus, experience can help in larning if the new cognition is presented so that it can be related to bing cognition and mental theoretical accounts.

In a societal constructivist environment, the duty of larning should shack progressively with the scholar ( Glasersfeld, 1989 ) . By promoting the scholar ‘s free probe within a given construction or composing, the constructivist music schoolroom can represent deep acquisition when pupils prepare inquiries, attain new cognition by developing and implementing programs for look intoing these inquiries, and reflect on the consequences. ( Scott 2006 )

More accent is placed on what they think and how they can use these new musical accomplishments to their ain development as instrumentalists.

This manner the pupils play an active function in larning.

Students need to develop acute brooding thought capablenesss so they will be able to use new cognition to complex state of affairss ( Koszalka, Song, & A ; Grabowski, 2001 ) .

Bandura ( 1997 ) defined self-efficacy as “ the belief in one ‘s capablenesss to form and put to death the classs of action required to pull off prospective state of affairss ” ( p.2 ) . The construct allowed me to back up pupils in set uping a structured pattern government that would ensue in an result that had important significance for them. This made it possible for the scholars to take control of their ain acquisition and develop their ain public presentation manners.

Scaffolding played an of import function in this displacement towards pupil liberty. Three pupils expressed their reluctance to execute in forepart of their equals due to shyness and doubts about their ain ability. When I reflected on the staging theory, I contextualised it into a series of ‘drilling ‘ exercisings ( acquiring the pupils to reiterate the parts easy until they could play it good, at which point musculus memory has been established ) . The construct of ‘drilling ‘ correlatives with elements of behaviorism or on a basic degree, ‘learning by rote ‘ . However, it is really effectual in instrumental direction. Most of my guitar pupils find practicing graduated tables boring but I ever drew the analogy of a pugilist skipping. The procedure non merely serves as a warm-up exercisings but it besides gives the pugilist the ability to travel freely around the ring. As the scholars abilities increased the degree of support was and allowing the scholars more liberties as their accomplishments addition.

As a survey by Gruson ( 1988 ) points out, it is in the pattern room where, through lone attempt, the single really learns their trade.

Vygotsky believed that. . . to function as an effectual agencies. . . the experiment must supply maximal chance for the topic to prosecute in a assortment of activities that can be observed, non merely stiffly controlled. ( pp. 11-12 )

My group of scholars

My pupils are aged between 17 and 19. They are all guitar players. The degrees of ability vary ; hence, a differentiated attack must be adapted. An interesting point is the assortment of musical gustatory sensations. Therefore I decided that whatever I teach them it should be non-genre specific. By foregrounding the fact that scales, arpeggios and chords are comparative to all genres from classical to metal ; I wanted to prosecute the pupils in the music theory procedure. Very frequently, the mere reference of music theory can do the music pupils to ‘tune out ‘ .

The application of societal acquisition theory

Modeling is really utile music instruction. If we look at popular music civilization in general, we find many illustrations of societal acquisition. Many young persons will seek to emulate whatever genre they are interested in be it knap ( loose-fitting denims ) or metal ( long hair ) . In this context, I decided to pick assorted instrumentalists that all of my pupils admired and demo them how the construct of fretboard visual image could use to the public presentations of these creative persons.

It is of import to use a differentiated scheme to the acquisition procedure. By trusting entirely on press releases of sheet music and scale diagrams, kinesthetic scholars may fight to hold on cardinal constructs. Interestingly in Mind in Society, Vygotsky wrote, when a pupil is reading music and playing it on a piano, they develop finger sleight and learn to strike the keys, but they are in no manner involved in the kernel of the music itself.

Research surveies within the cognitive sphere show that musical experiences positively affect cognitive development and higher intelligence quotients ( Schellenberg, 2004 ) .


Promoting the development of the pupils ‘ self-efficacy focused on two countries: acquiring the pupils to physically being able to play with eloquence and sleight, and geting at that point through a logical and structured pattern modus operandi. By developing and utilizing a structured brooding pattern modus operandi, the pupils can ‘take apart ‘ and ‘break down ‘ the countries of their playing that needed most attending. The intended accessory benefits of this attack are developments in tone production, rhythmic control and timing. All of which are built-in to music pupils ‘ development.

The application of mental visual image techniques

Brooks, ( 1995 ) concluded that mental pattern in combination with physical pattern, for illustration, does typically give superior public presentation consequences ( Brooks, 1995 ) . McCormick and McPherson ( 2003 ) concluded that whilst pattern plays a cardinal portion in the advancement of a instrumentalist ‘s ability to execute good, it should non be considered in isolation from motivational and interconnected variables. Their survey of piano pupils found that those who did greater sums of pattern were more likely to practise music in their heads and do critical ongoing opinions refering the success or otherwise of their attempts. This suggests that pupil instrumentalists who are more cognitively engaged while rehearsing non merely be given to make more pattern, but may besides be more efficient with their acquisition.

The embedding of indispensable accomplishments was achieved by the debut of a visual image techniques known as the CAGED system. The CAGED system is a method of fingerboard administration used in one signifier or another by virtually all guitar players. ( Ferguson 1999 ) . The CAGED system provides the guitar player with a dependable method for happening their manner around the cervix, signifier by signifier. ( Edwards 1989 ) . Jazz guitar player Joe Pass was one of its greatest title-holders. It is a straightforward but effectual system, which allows the participant to visualise graduated tables, arpeggios, and chords over the whole scope of the fretboard. The thought is based on the relationship between common chord and scale forms. It is besides a really utile method for visualizing chord tones across the cervix of the guitar. The advantage of utilizing fretboard visual image techniques like the CAGED system is that it is easy for the pupils to see where they can travel following. For illustration if they begin a musical sequence utilizing the ‘A ‘ signifier, they can travel up the cervix of the guitar and usage ‘G ‘ signifier or down the cervix and utilize the ‘C ‘ signifier. This logical patterned advance ( C-A-G-E-D ) allows the participant to gestate their instrument in a new and meaningful manner.

Essential accomplishments

Music theory presents an ideal context in which to implant indispensable accomplishments into the music instruction course of study. The celebrated Grecian Mathematician Pythagoras ( who was besides a instrumentalist ) is quoted as stating, “ There is geometry in the humming of the strings, and there is music in the spacing of the domains. ” There is a really definite and specific relationship between music and mathematics, in peculiar to the perceptual experience of pitch and disposition. Musical analysis is frequently viewed in mathematical footings.

Essential accomplishments were embedded into some of the assignments. They besides formed an built-in portion of the acquisition procedure. Numeracy was invariably used to explicate assorted facets of theory such as threes and chord building. The execution of literacy accomplishments took the signifier of placing right musical nomenclature to depict certain scenarios, e.g. glissando, staccato, mixolydian etc.

Collaborative acquisition.

The pupils were set a undertaking where they had to develop a individualized application of the CAGED system. They so had to learn their new system to each other. This assignment was assessed by equal treatment and the consequences were recorded.

ILT usage

Each pupil was asked to reexamine several picture about the CAGED system posted on

Each of these methods was evaluated utilizing a assortment of assessment startegies.

Undertaking timeline

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3


Assessment schemes:

I found the undermentioned appraisal schemes utile in turn toing subjects such as distinction, VAK concerns and qualitative analysis.

Practical presentations by the pupils

Practice Diaries

Assessor observations.

Peer appraisal



Theory trials

Recording public presentations

Initial/Diagnostic appraisal

The intent of the initial diagnostic appraisal was to determine how much the pupils ‘ knew about music theory. The consequences of the trial gave me an indicant of the degree. I was so able to build a revised scheme to turn to the appropriate acquisition results.

The other facet of this appraisal took the signifier of a questionnaire to set up other information about the participants. By garnering information on age, experience and musical influences, I hoped to be able to construction the undertaking in that provided significance to each scholar.

Formative appraisal

Cowie and Bell ( 1999 ) defined the formative appraisal as the bidirectional procedure between instructor and pupil to heighten recognize, and respond to the acquisition. This type of appraisal allows pupils to take duty for their ain acquisition and learn valuable womb-to-tomb accomplishments such as self-evaluation, self-assessment, and end scene.

At the beginning of the undertaking, the pupils and I established a reciprocally agreed larning result…

Develop effectual instrumental technique through a structured pattern modus operandi.

We so agreed a timeframe of two hebdomads ( four categories ) to larn a peculiar piece that highlighted the CAGED system. The appraisal besides addressed a assortment of public presentation issues such as timing, chord theory, usage of graduated tables etc. The piece was broken down into little manageable subdivisions and the bulk of pupils were able to accomplish the result. Throughout the procedure, the pupils besides recorded entries in their pattern journals. This allowed them to reflect on countries of their public presentation that required peculiar attending.

Summational appraisal

The Summative appraisal or ‘assessment of larning ‘ was delivered in two ways.

1/ a concluding recording of the piece

2/ a brooding analysis by the scholar summarizing their acquisition experience

Boyce Tillman ( 2003 ) acknowledges the importance of summational appraisals as, ‘in the wider universe of music-making instrumentalists are frequently judged merely by their merchandise. ‘

Peer appraisal

When I designed the appraisals I wanted to integrate as many of the key skills standards as possible such as working with others, communicating, job resolution and information engineering.

The emotional impact of the public presentation was besides factored in. Nzewi ( 2007 ) stated, ‘Underneath the feelings that evoked by a piece of music are several other beds of understanding that can be penetrated. ‘

The procedure of music public presentation can be assessed in a assortment of ways. The usage of diaries in measuring pupils ‘ musical development remains a popular method. , Evans ( 2002 ) . In the public presentation journals, the participants were asked to measure their issues about their instrumental accomplishments and what they thought it was practical to carry through by the undertaking. Through the medium of a forum, the appraisal standards for public presentation were bit by bit developed, contextualised, and personalised into results that the pupils wanted to accomplish. i.e. better apprehension of fretboard theory, refined technique, better tone etc

I collated pupil remarks about the impact of autonomous larning throughout the class of the undertaking. These remarks were gathered from formal and informal pupil feedback, questionnaires and several treatments in which pupils described how elements of this learning-centred scheme had related to their ain originative music-making procedure.

Peer appraisal is a really effectual manner of measuring the input that each member of the group makes. ( Hunter and Russ, 1996 ; University of Ulster, 1995 )

Analysis by McCormick and McPherson ( 2003 ) suggested that, ‘in motivational footings… self-efficacy was the best forecaster of existent public presentation. ‘

Successful instrumentalists of all types are characterized by a desire to better their public presentation and increase their accomplishments, and there are many analogues in the cogency and focal point of self-taught stone and classically trained pupil instrumentalists. Successful instrumentalists in both groups non merely put big sums of clip rehearsing but besides possess a deep desire to get the hang their trade ( Shehan-Campbell, 1995 ) .

Peer reappraisal of assessment scheme:

In footings of equal reappraisal and feedback, I sought the advice of my class co-ordinator refering the assignment brief. He suggested that my initial learning results were excessively wide in range and that I should revise some of the undertakings. I concurred with his analysis and implemented the alterations.

Data aggregation

Data aggregation methods for this action research included entries in pupil pattern journals, peer appraisal signifiers, assessor observations and recorded public presentations.

Practice Diaries:

The care of a pattern journal included an appraisal of scholars ‘ abilities at the beginning of the undertaking, the scene of mensurable marks for completion by the terminal of the undertaking, and intervallic reappraisals of betterment against these ends. It was agreed that the diary format should stay unfastened and a big grade of freedom would be afforded to the scholar but the aims should be ‘Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound ‘ ( SMART ) .

Assessor Observations

The assessor observation records contained assorted pieces of information including the day of the month the, a record of the acquisition outcomes ascertained and brief remarks on the pupil ‘s public presentation.

Peer reappraisal signifiers

The equal group were asked to finish a signifier entering brief remarks about the pupil ‘s narration.

Recorded Performances

The participants ‘ public presentations were recorded at the beginning of the undertaking. Assorted phases in the procedure were besides recorded. Upon completion, each participant was recorded once more. This procedure was self-evaluated, equal reviewed and feedback was provided by me. I used discretion when directing the pupils on proficient affairs. I was cautious non to seek to smother the scholars ‘ creativeness. Vygotsky believed that. . . to function as an effectual agencies. . . the experiment must supply maximal chance for the topic to prosecute in a assortment of activities that can be observed, non merely stiffly controlled. ( pp. 11-12 ) . On this point, careful opinion was required for when make up one’s minding whether an bizarre or irregular attack was an piquant constituent of an single manner or a prospective job that might restrain the instrumentalist ‘s advancement.

At the terminal of the undertaking, I invited pupils to finish a questionnaire inquiring for their positions on the impact the undertaking. See appendix.


Key countries were identified…

Lack of apprehension of graduated tables, manners, chords and arpeggios.

Performance anxiousness by some of the pupils.


A practical and written trial at the decision of the undertaking showed that the pupils ‘ cognition of these basicss had well increased.

Average mark for initial appraisal was 50 % .

Average mark for concluding appraisal was 80 % .

Practice journals. The entries in the pattern journals were analysed and a comparing was drafted between the intended acquisition results recorded by the pupil and the existent acquisition results. The existent acquisition results ( what the scholar really achieved ) were composed of the scholar ‘s self-evaluation, their equal reappraisal, and the assessor ‘s observations. In most instances, there was some disparity between both elements. The scholar ‘s and the assessor agreed that in retrospect some of the marks set were excessively wide in their range and excessively ambitious.

The success of autonomous acquisition?

Bandura ‘s research ( 1997 ) has shown that a strong sense of personal efficaciousness is related to better wellness, higher achievement, and more societal integrating.

Lack of apprehension of graduated tables, manners, chords and arpeggios.


Information from the assessor observation studies was collated into the undermentioned decisions…

Attendance remained consistent with most pupils

Increased pupil coaction

Addition in oppugning by pupils

Improved degrees of attainment in mark groups

More active hearing observed

Lower ability performing artists became more motivated and engaged when they acquired the accomplishments to improvize in an informal ‘jam session ‘ even though some had softly expressed uncertainties about being able to ‘take a solo ‘ in forepart of their equals.

The findings highlighted the importance of supplying ocular, audile and kinesthetic chances for the pupils. Some pupils found the category handouts to be the most good. However other pupils related that the web-based instructional pictures were more helpful to them.

The questionnaire revealed higher degrees of metacognition among the participants.

Increased degrees of instructor accomplishments and cognition.

The pupils intimated that Music Performance schoolrooms have high criterions of regard.

There was some disparity over the degrees of efficaciousness.

Note: Some issues arose during the rating period due to the hapless attending of some pupils ( largely because of the inauspicious conditions conditions at the clip ) .

However, adequate grounds was gathered to propose that fretboard visual image techniques are an wholly valid attack to guitar tuition.

Relationships, merriment, flexibleness, and a positive ethos ; they offer safety, Clarity, challenge, duty, authorization, independency and success.


The above findings highlight some interesting facets of pupil attitudes to instrumental tuition and music theory. These issues are discussed below, with peculiar attending given to ( a ) the development of pupil selfing-directed learn ; and ( B ) the impact on pupil acquisition.

The development of pupil self-efficacy

This undertaking explored the acquisition schemes employed by guitar pupils in instrumental practising and their attitudes related to their ain self-efficacy.

The consequences of this survey imply that most of the pupils applied a assortment of cognitive and metacognitive schemes during dry run. A survey by Hallam ( 2001 ) found that professional instrumentalists demonstrated extended metacognitive accomplishments and utilised a series of ploies that they implemented in reaction to their demands.

The consequences mean that pupil have the possible to progress their planned acquisition during instrumental pattern.



The 1994 National Standards for Arts Education reiterated the demand for ‘diverse genres and manners of music ‘ in the music course of study ( p. 3 ) .

Recognized music instruction pattern has historically been associated with learning western art music. In the last 40 old ages, a swing toward integrating a wider assortment of music manners has brought about the usage of many manners and parlances in the schoolroom.

The merger of larning activities, appraisal schemes, and brooding patterns led to the development of both the pupils ‘ abilities to larn independently and their musical accomplishments.

A flexible course of study attack to music instruction has the possible to heighten pupils larning experiences and supply them with the necessary communicating and problem-solving accomplishments to win in the industry. It is wholly plausible that this attack can ease both the artistic demands of music pupils and run into the demands of DEL ‘s Skills Strategy.

The indispensable accomplishments of literacy and numeracy and ICT can be embedded into the music course of study in a originative context.

Employability accomplishments such the cardinal accomplishments of squad working, job resolution can be developed through group public presentations, equal appraisals and brooding analysis.

Work-based ( occupational/sector ) accomplishments can be fostered through unrecorded public presentations. These public presentations can be incorporated into the appraisal scheme. Working in studio Sessionss, gigs, group dry runs and gigs will all lend to the pupil deriving the authorization of a seasoned performing artist and supply them with critical employability accomplishments.

Ronan Guilfoyle, manager of wind at Newpark Music Centre in Dublin stated ; ‘Irish music instruction should draw a bead on to at least encompass those elements of music preparation that are readily available to pupils in all other parts of Europe. Outside of the classical instruction system, wind is by far the biggest force in music instruction today, yet Ireland is about entirely in Europe in non supplying this option to Irish pupils at 3rd degree. ‘

DEL ‘s Skills Strategy ( 2006 ) desires to the course of study in 2nd and 3rd degree instruction incorporate endeavor and invention ; and an grasp and apprehension of entrepreneurship is embedded in the instruction system ;

What is the difference between a instrumentalist and a park bench? A park bench can back up a household.


Common subjects originating from the treatments with instructor research workers were:

Increased degrees of assurance, enjoyment and independency were noted in all the age groups

Degrees of pupil engagement in lessons increased

The potency of utilizing Thinking for Learning schemes as appraisal tools

To convey together the information from each of these beginnings, I have identified four chief subjects, shown in the tabular array below with a record of the figure of responses made to each.

A flexible attack to assessment schemes

Development of music theory

Pupil engagement

Development of thought accomplishments

Improved public presentation criterions

Brooding statement

July 23, 2017