Developing musical listening according to the principles of the Tomatis method : an application in the arts and culture learning area
This thesis reports on an interdisciplinary empirical study that used mainly quantitative methods combined with qualitative and descriptive methods to illustrate that didactic methods in the Arts and Culture learning area can be aligned with the principles of the Tomatis Method in order to improve musical listening. The research question was formulated on the basis of perceived problems regarding the teaching–learning processes in South African schools, and especially in terms of the South African curriculum as it pertains to music. It was deemed necessary to identify the problems which are impacting on the development of skilful musical listening in music teaching within the Arts and Culture Learning Area, and attempt to find solutions. The point is made that it is the curriculum ? poorly assembled, vaguely formulated and containing insufficient information on didactic methods regarding the teaching of proper listening skills ? that causes some of the problems. The purpose of this study was thus to determine how didactic methods in the Arts and Culture programme can be aligned with the principles of the Tomatis Method in order to develop musical listening. The Tomatis Method is a multi–disciplinary approach applied as a therapeutic intervention which led to a new outlook on the concept of hearing. Significant breakthroughs in areas such as learning, self–esteem, communication, language, music and creativity are indicated through clinical observations and research findings. Elliott?s praxial philosophy of music education is used as the intermediary between the principles of the Tomatis Method and the alignment of didactic methods, because the theory is widely known in music education, and because it is clearly documented and debated. The use of the praxial philosophy as a frame for increasing didactic understanding follows a suggestion by Elliott (1995:vii) to use the philosophy as “a tool ? as a means of initiating, simulating, guiding and supporting the efforts of music teachers (administrators, parents and others) as they tackle the many theoretical and practical issues involved in music education.” iii The research design and methodology were discussed together with measures to ensure validity and reliability. In this study both quantitative and qualitative approaches (descriptive case studies and interviews) were followed to answer the research question. These approaches represent complementary components of the research process. A quantitative approach in the current research is employed to study relationships among measured variables in order to explain, predict, and control phenomena. The qualitative research investigated the complex nature of the phenomena in this study. The case studies were discussed accordingly. The participants were carefully selected and the current researcher is of the opinion that the measuring instruments are sensitive enough to measure the listening ability, creativity and the psychological phenomena involved in this study and that they are also equipped to reflect the effects of the intervention programmes. To test the hypothesis of this research a four–group (experimental group A and three control groups B, C and D) pre–post assessment design was used in order to eliminate any deficiencies that may have occurred in comparative studies. The procedures that were followed used measuring instruments to evaluate the identified dependent variables tested in the hypothesis. The measuring instruments included the Musat Test, Tomatis Listening Test, Tennessee Self–Concept Test and Torrance Creativity Test. The empirical results confirm the theories of Tomatis and the philosophy of Elliott: the results show that active listening–for (Elliott?s term) during the Tomatis intervention enhanced not only musical listening but also other characteristics such as integration (Tomatis?s term of which the equivalent in Elliott?s philosophy will be consciousness), self–concept and creativity which are concepts in both Tomatis? theories and Elliott?s philosophy. Therefore it is clear that didactic methods in the Arts and Culture learning area can indeed be aligned with the methods of Alfred Tomatis in order to improve musical listening. Recommendations for further studies are provided.
- Humanities