School of Music


Doctor of Music Education (DME)


Kathryn Wert


Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), music education, service-learning, Christian faith, instrumental ensemble pedagogy, action research




Despite several studies indicating its importance, there is a lack of information regarding service-learning as a pedagogical tool for instrumental ensembles. Existing studies suggest service-learning creates culturally sensitive music teachers who are apt to create inclusive classrooms with a mind to diversity. Incorporating service-learning techniques into instrumental ensemble courses could be a helpful tool in combining faith and musical excellence. This hermeneutic phenomenological qualitative study explores student experience and director observations concerning service-learning use to increase musical excellence and faith integration into performance-based instrumental ensemble courses at one Christian university. It is essential to consider both student and instructor experiences. In service-learning research on preservice music education students, themes surrounding community music, inclusive classrooms, and faith integration have appeared. The success or failure of incorporating service learning into instrumental ensembles of Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, will be determined by compilations of student surveys taken at the beginning and end of a semester and director observations. Music and service are both forms of worship, as stated in Romans 12:1. Incorporating service into the instrumental ensembles at Northwest University could advance pedagogical methods in the classroom and encourage students toward musical excellence. This study could inspire further research in service-based pedagogy for disciplines outside of music, team-building considerations for ensembles and their effect on musical excellence, and missional work for instrumental ensembles of Christian universities.

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