Aural Skills Pedagogy: From Academic Research To The Everyday Classroom
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Aural skills are necessary for all musicians and are traditionally included at the beginning of a music major’s undergraduate degree. A vast body of research informs how people acquire aural skills and how to teach aural skills. The research covers several different areas of study, including music perception and cognition, music theory, and music education. Taken as a whole, a research-based aural skills pedagogy emerges. This thesis compares research to practice: (1) Do textbooks employ research-based pedagogies? (2) Do teachers implement these pedagogies in the classroom? The first section of this thesis synthesizes the academic research to present an ideal aural skills pedagogy. Using this ideal, the second section evaluates eight aural skills textbooks, while the third section reports the self perceptions of six collegiate aural professors. This thesis shows that most aural skills textbooks incorporate quite a bit of research-based pedagogies, while aural skills professors are less consistent and purposeful in implementing these pedagogies.