This paper focuses on immersive learning in a composition-centered curriculum in K–5 general music education. It is one aspect of a 4-year longitudinal study of children’s musical development through composition. I collected data over 4 years on the work of students (N=300) who attended music classes as part of their general education. Data comprised video and audio recordings of student performances of and interviews about their compositional processes; photographs of student written work and of classroom activity; students’ written and drawn scores, notated scores, and other drawings; researcher written work, lesson plans, and observational notes of classroom activity. I transcribed and analyzed student compositions for theoretical constructs, analyzing scores alongside performances to determine musical connections. Spectrographic analysis provided deeper understanding of student work. This paper provides an in-depth analysis of one student’s work over 4 years as a representative example of how the immersive learning environment influenced musical development. Results show that the immersive learning environment (a) was effective in furthering musical skill development, which grew beyond grade level expectations for each year; (b) allowed for musical ideas to grow in complexity given time and space to develop; and (c) aided skills and knowledge retention, which positively influenced musicianship development.
"Music Composition as Immersive Learning in K–5 General Music Education:
Results of a 4-Year Study,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 35, Article 6.
Available at: https://opencommons.uconn.edu/vrme/vol35/iss1/6