Research Topic

Towards a Meaningful Instrumental Music Education. Methods, Perspectives, and Challenges

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About this Research Topic

Understanding the complex interaction between effective learning and personal experience is one of the core challenges for instrumental music education. On the one hand, this is gained from empirical approaches interested in describing measurable outcomes emerging from the individual learning trajectory. ...

Understanding the complex interaction between effective learning and personal experience is one of the core challenges for instrumental music education. On the one hand, this is gained from empirical approaches interested in describing measurable outcomes emerging from the individual learning trajectory. Among others, this entails a focus on the effectiveness of the learning method, including the study of how the motor skills necessary to master instrumental technique are acquired and developed. On the other hand, more phenomenologically-inspired perspectives aim to understand musical development by systematically reporting and conceptualizing the vast range of subjective experiences this involves. The latter includes the ability to meaningfully interact and engage with the moment-to-moment contingencies of the unfolding dynamics occurring within the lesson.

The Research Topic aims to bring together examples of theoretical, practice-based, and empirical research, which illustrate how both research approaches can be functionally integrated. This includes critical discourse concerning teaching and learning experience, innovative educational methods, and manuscripts (Original Research, Hypothesis & Theory, Review, Perspective, Conceptual Analysis, and Opinion) that address the following preliminary questions in various ways:

What are the mutual influence of bodily activity and meaning-making in the acquisition of musical skills?
What are the underlying biological, emotional, social, and cultural mechanisms through which these musical skills are developed?
What kind of musical experiences are considered meaningful by students/learners and educators/teachers?
And what pedagogical implications can emerge from empirical and experience-based perspectives and insight?

Contributions following, for example, 4E cognition (Embodied, Embedded, Extended, Enactive), dynamical system theory, ecological psychology, and performance-oriented approaches to music education, are welcome in the perspective of bridging the gap between theoretical, practice-based, quantitative and qualitative research.

Work exploring how musical knowledge, talent, skill, expertise, motivation, and joint musical behaviors are understood from both approaches, is especially encouraged. This may involve original studies on the potential of novel technologies in the promotion and evaluation of musical activity, conceptual reviews on key concepts in the field, phenomenological analyses based on qualitative data, as well as contributions that engage with behavioral variability across instrumental musical tuition and other pedagogical domains.


Keywords: Instrumental Music Education, Learning, Teaching, Meaning, Movement


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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