A New Vision for Implementing Strings in P-12 Schools

A New Vision for Implementing Strings in P-12 Schools

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3359-8.ch005
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Chapter 5 shares practical teaching examples of flow theory-based string pedagogy for young and special needs children in P-12 schools. The chapter puts a special emphasis on implementing strings in general music classes instead of designing strings program. The author strives to reflect the knowledge obtained from the research based on Csikszentmihalyi's flow theory and of its application to facilitate children's flow experience when children encounter the strings for the first time. The author focuses on children's flow experience with the understanding of the developmental trend and depicts them in the context of strings learning. This chapter is filled with the actual lesson structures that are useful in P-12 schools.
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Structure Of Flow Theory-Based Strings Education

Before getting into the section to introduce specific teaching examples, I would like to organize the overall structure of flow theory-based strings education with developmental perspectives.

Infants and Toddlers (ages 0-2)

Infants’ and toddlers’ perception of musical sound and embodiment and engagement of music are very keen in this beginning of life stage. In general, to open up and get start the strings education for infants, teacher’s live performance spontaneously invites young children to participate actively in the listening. In my observation, very young children of ages 0 to 1 experience flow at most in the listening activity (Akutsu, 2018). Once I start playing the violin, infants most likely give me intense eye gaze, and the intensity is distinguishable compare with older children. They also watch closely when caregivers, even very beginner, play the violin in front of them (Akutsu, 2018).

Sensory play and masterly play are a few of the traits of infants’ musical play (Custodero, 2010). Infant gradually enjoy touching many objects and put them into mouth often. It might be too soon for infants to explore the strings instruments, but teachers and caregivers can guide them to touch and feel the sense of strings instruments in a limited manner (Akutsu, 2018). You can just let them touching the body of the instruments, strings, and bow hair with adult help. Infant of this age enjoy attachment with caregivers and close teachers so it is crucial that adults explore the instruments with children. Gradually children enjoy being independent, so adult intervention sometimes stifle children’s flow experience (Akutsu, 2018).

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