Martina Fitzmaurice, Approaching music literacy: an exploration of the contribution whole-class tin whistle lessons can make to children's music literacy development in the primary school classroom (MA, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, 201

These details defined Wed Mar 27 10:22:26 2019  edit
 Author:  Fitzmaurice, Martina 
 Title:  Approaching music literacy: an exploration of the contribution whole-class tin whistle lessons can make to children's music literacy development in the primary school classroom 
 Degree, institution:  MA, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick 
 Status, year:  accepted, 2014 
 Volumes, pp.:  1 (181pp.) 
 Supervisor(s):  Ailbhe Kenny 
 Repository:  Mary Immaculate College Library 
 General specialism:  Music Education 
 Content, key terms:  Genres, instruments:  Tin whistle
 Abstract: 

The purpose of this research study is to investigate how whole-class tin whistle lessons can be used to contribute to pupils' music literacy development in a primary school context. This study examines the strengths, limitations and general impact of combining whole-class tin whistle lessons and music literacy instruction within primary school music education for both teachers and pupils.

The research question of this study is explored through the use of an action research framework that combines both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection. A pupil questionnaire was first distributed to the 23 pupils who consented to taking part in the research in order to gather information on their musical background, and, in particular, their experiences of and attitudes towards music literacy and whole-class tin whistle lessons. This led to the design of a six-week intervention programme in which whole-class tin whistle instruction was used as the main pedagogical tool with which to approach various aspects of music literacy and, more specifically, to teach pupils how to sing from sight, to play from sight and to dictate music.

In order to establish if the whole-class tin whistle lessons contributed towards the pupils' music literacy development, the pupils of this research study were tested before and after the intervention programme and the results of both tests were compared. Additional data was gathered through the analysis of a teacher logbook, pupil worksheets and two focus-group interviews that were held immediately after the implementation of the intervention programme. These provided valuable information on the pupil attitude towards music literacy and their opinion on the integration of music literacy instruction into whole-class tin whistle lessons.

The findings of the research revealed that the whole-class tin whistle lessons were successful in improving pupils' music literacy abilities, in particular their ability to sight-sing, to play from sight and to dictate music. The research also highlighted the positive impact whole-class tin whistle lessons can have on pupils' attitudes towards music literacy and also how music literacy instruction can detract from the general flow of and pupil participation tin whistle lessons.

In conclusion this research highlights the need for continual professional development in the area of music education to educate teachers and to help them create fruitful and meaningful musical experiences for all pupils. It also offers the combination of tin whistle lessons and music literacy instruction as a suggestion of an alternative approach to the teaching of instrumental music and music literacy in education.