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Trey Smith — General

Hi, Anjni! As a French horn player and choir member, who used to dabble in writing music, I am so enthused by your topic! I am looking forward to learning from you as you continue to shape your research around issues related to teaching young people music.

As I understand it at this point, you have a goal and knowledge conflict. Is that true? Learners (teachers) have a goal of teaching students how to read music but lack the knowledge about how to motivate students to deepen their understanding of reading music. Is this a fair description of the problem you've identified? (If not, I do apologize for misunderstanding what you intended to convey.)

If this is your question, I'm wondering if there are differences in motivating students to learn to read music and in motivating students to learn something in general? I'm no expert, but I am under the impression that there is plenty of educational literature available about motivation and learning that might help you as you frame and flesh out your argument.

That said, I wonder if motivation is the key factor. What other possibilities might hinder student interest in learning to read music? Is the nature of treating it like a skill to be internalized with some utilitarian value part of the problem? I'm thinking about parallels in the ways that mathematics education might be portrayed as a set of skills that students should learn because they have some utilitarian value. And yet students resist these arguments and develop aversions toward math. What changes have taken root in mathematics education to move beyond arguments like, "You can use this later as an adult! Learn math!" and "You will need these skills to get a good job! Learn math!"? I am thinking about possibilities for framing reading music as more than just an important skill and imagine changes in mathematics education might be useful here. Beyond this initial hunch, though, I'm afraid I don't have specific resources to offer off the top of my head.

On another note, embedded in this question might be a related question about what might help students value and embrace learning about reading music. I'm not sure about the existing literature base here, but this seems like it might be worth considering as an agent in lieu of making this about preparing teachers.

3 years ago

Spencer Carlson — General

Hi Anjni!

Q: Is the problem clear?

I am a little bit confused about how you have set up your problem case. The stuff you've written in the "action" section definitely seems important, but it seems like it's not music educators' action but actually the people who make rules. This is more of a constraint than an action, if we are thinking about music educators as the agent.

I think this confusion about who is the agent and what they are doing makes it hard to understand exactly what you are proposing to focus in on as the core of the problem.

I think you're wanting to explain more of the complexity of the problem by describing multiple different agents and their actions, which is great but makes it harder for me to understand. So maybe decide what single individual is most important to focus on and just tell me about things from their point of view.

For the result part, it is not clear to me how the different sentences fit together. I can't tell if there are multiple results you are addressing, or if they are all part of the same outcome in some way.

One thing I would note is that it seems the problematic "action" you focus on is "educators enforcing the requirement of learning to read music" — but this packs two agents in: the educators who enforce the rule, and the original people who make the rules. If you had to only focus on one for now, whose behavior would you rather change?

After reading your problem definition, I have a better understanding of the problem. But I think you are still thinking of this in a fairly high-level way. Maybe it would help to identify explicitly whether this is a general form conflict, goal-goal, goal-belief, or goal-knowledge conflict.

I think for "mistakes" you are saying that music educators make the mistake of not motivating students properly — but you talk about other stuff as well. Can you be really explicit about what the mistake is and who makes it?

By the time we get to "why learners make these mistakes" it seems you have shifted to "enforcing music reading development" as the mistake. I think that you are relating this to educators' struggle to motivate students. Maybe it would help to characterize the broader skill that educators struggle with, and then say that enforcing music reading development is one instance that illustrates how they struggle with that skill (probably would be motivating students or maybe even designing good instruction in general).

Overall I think you have a really clear understanding of this problem, which shows. I think the next step is finding a way to actually simplify what you communicate so that your readers can get a really explicit idea of the core tension you want to address.

3 years ago

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