This colloquium is the eighth in a continuing series of lectures beginning in Fall 2017, typically taking place on a Friday each month. Each session features a presentation by a faculty member, student, or guest in the field of music education or another area with a topic of interest to music education. Presentations are followed with time for questions, comments, and general discussion. These sessions are for the purposes of communicating current ideas and research, connecting with the profession, and building community among and between students and teachers in the Fred Fox School of Music, as well as the larger Tucson area. The October 19th colloquium will be the first presented during the 2018-19 academic year.
“Back of the Orchestra: High School Students’ Experiences with Alternative Seating Practices”
In this study, I investigate alternative seating practices (ASP) within a public school orchestra. Traditionally, orchestras have employed hierarchical seating structures through the use of chair challenges and seating auditions in efforts to motivate students to practice. However, minimal research is available on the outcomes of hierarchical seating structures within an orchestra. Acknowledging that teachers are at the forefront of our curricular decisions for the orchestra, I explored these challenges from an autobiographical point of view, also sharing the experiences of my students who participated in the orchestra program for three years during the time in which ASP was first integrated. Twenty-five student participants volunteered to partake in this study, and parents and administrators were interviewed, to share their perspectives of ASP. The data collection includes: individual and group interviews, letters/essays/journals, and archival collection. Participants were 10th-grade orchestra students in a public school setting 20 miles outside of a major U.S. city. ASP demonstrates how it can act as a practice of social justice within a community of practice. Students reported that ASP influenced their awareness of self and others, and through their perceived experiences, they were able to transfer their awareness to the outside world. Students attributed their musical success to their unique music-making experience formed through motivation, peer modeling, and discovery of others’ musical capacity. This study asserts that using ASP in an orchestra can satisfy measures of musical performance and promote an equitable classroom in which students can form socially just principles to use as members of society.
About the Presenter:
Dr. Tammy S. Yi is a violinist, strings specialist, and orchestral conductor from Los Angeles. She holds degrees from Columbia University, University of Southern California, and Azusa Pacific University. Dr. Yi was the violin and conducting instructor at Columbia University and Conductor of the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Orchestras. She also taught in both public and private schools for more than ten years and founded the First Children’s Orchestra of Harlem and HOPE Children’s Orchestra of Orange County. Dr. Yi’s research interests include diversity, equity, and inclusion. She presents her work on social justice in orchestral pedagogy at music education and conducting conferences around the world, gaining her and her research impressive international exposure. Dr. Yi serves as the Conductor of the UA Philharmonic Orchestra and is an Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Arizona specializing in string education, democratic classrooms, creativity, and social justice.