STRATEGIES FOR ATTENTION CONTROL FOR INTERMEDIATE STANDARD ADOLESCENT STRING STUDENTS

Topics: Learning, Psychology, Music education Pages: 221 (57855 words) Published: November 12, 2013
Faculty of Education

Clayton Campus
Gippsland Campus
Peninsula Campus

STATEMENT OF COMPLETION OF THESIS

MASTER OF EDUCATION

Name:

Matthew Alexander COHN

Student ID:

11636955

Project Title:

Strategies for Attention Control for Intermediate Standard
Adolescent String Students

Project Grade:
Date qualified:

HIGH DISTINCTION
30 July 2003

POBox6
Monash University
Victoria 3800, Australia
Telephone: +61 3 9905 2819
Facsimile: +61 3 9905 5400
www.monash.edu.au
ABN: 12 377 614 012

STRATEGIES FOR ATTENTION
CONTROL FOR INTERMEDIATE
STANDARD ADOLESCENT STRING
STUDENTS

Matthew Cohn
B.Mus.Per. (Melbourne University)
Dip. Ed. (Monash University)

Supervisor : Dr. Jane Southcott

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Studies, Monash University
December, 2002

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Abbreviations

iii

Abstract

iv

Statement

vi

Approval from the Standing Committee on Ethics in
Research on Humans, Monash University

vii

Acknowledgements

viii

Chapter 1: The Research Problem

1

Chapter 2: Literature Review

10

Chapter 3: Research Methodology

26

Chapter 4: The Training Papers

40

Chapter 5: Case Study, Student A

48

Chapter 6: Case Study, Student B

58

Chapter 7: Case Study, Student C

63

Chapter 8: Discussion and Conclusions

70

Appendix A: Introductory letters and consent forms

78

Appendix B: Interview questions

79

Appendix C: The Training Papers – Training Attention for String Players 80 Appendix D: Response Summaries.

81

End Notes

82

Bibliography

86

ii

TABLE OF ABBREVIATIONS
CSS – Contention Scheduling System.
IPA – Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming
PRP – Psychological Refractory Period
SAS – Supervisory Attention System

iii

STRATEGIES FOR ATTENTION CONTROL FOR
INTERMEDIATE STANDARD ADOLESCENT STRING
STUDENTS
ABSTRACT

This dissertation is a study to investigate strategies for improving attentional use in instrumental practice for intermediate standard adolescent string students between the ages of twelve and seventeen. The study involved an investigation into the literature associated with attention in learning to play stringed instruments (violin, viola, ‘cello and double bass), the psychology of attention in relation to learning and systems of attention training. A set of three training papers called “Training Attention for String Players” was then devised by the researcher and presented to three students who participated in the research. The research consisted of semi-structured interviews and instrumental practice sessions that were conducted before and after a two-week training period involving students reading the training papers and commenting on their thoughts in a reflective journal. The interviews, and practice sessions were videotaped and the journals were collected. The data was then transcribed for analysis. The study utilised qualitative methodology and a multiple case study design. The data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).

iv

The study aimed to investigate how intermediate standard adolescent string students think about their ability to pay attention and their other internal processes including mental imagery. It also sought to examine changes that resulted from the students’ exposure to the training papers. The contentions of the study are that string students encounter specific problems relating to how they use their minds in their instrumental practice. Students need to be taught how to use their ability to pay attention and their imagination if they are to become more effective at using these learning resources. Average to poor mental use is reflected by mind wandering and mindless practice that are conditions experienced by string students and performers.

The results found these students did...
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