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ERIC Number: ED520397
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 278
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-5926-6
Perceptions of Jazz Improvisation among Pennsylvania Music Educators
Rummel, Jason Robert
ProQuest LLC, D.M.A. Dissertation, Boston University
Jazz education has been a part of school music programs in the United States in both extracurricular and curricular settings since the 1920's. An enormous growth in the popularity of stage bands and jazz ensembles was experienced between the 1940's and 1980's resulting in a vibrant, widespread acceptance of jazz in the music curriculum (Luty, 1982; Suber, 1976; Wheaton, 1976). School music programs in the state of Pennsylvania experienced this growth. Despite the frequent inclusion of jazz in the public schools, jazz courses, particularly jazz improvisation courses, are conspicuously absent from the music education curricula of most Pennsylvania colleges and universities that offer music education certification. The purpose of this study is: 1) to test for correlations between jazz improvisation experience and perceptions of jazz improvisation activities; 2) to compare data regarding perceptions of jazz improvisation activities between various subgroups identified by the collection of categorical data, and; 3) to explore meaning and provide explanations for the results of the comparisons and correlations. Recommendations were made concerning the need for jazz courses, particularly improvisation, to be adopted into Pennsylvania music teacher preparation curricula. One thousand two hundred seventy four active Pennsylvania music educators responded to a 51 item, researcher designed questionnaire used to ascertain attitudes, levels of training, willingness to participate in jazz improvisation activities, and current practices, if any. A four-way MANOVA revealed statistically significant differences when comparing the independent variables type of primary instrument (p =0.011) and total experience (p =0.000) with the dependent variables regarding participants attitudes, willingness to participate in jazz improvisation activities, experience, and current practices. Self-directed study was found to be the primary source of jazz improvisation experience among participants in the study. Additional data were gathered through qualitative techniques to understand more closely the situations and attitudes of particular cases in the field. Eight cases were chosen based on results of the quantitative survey and represented subgroups used in quantitative statistics. Results of the qualitative data supported and clarified the quantitative results that selection of a typically jazz related instrument resulted in more opportunities for improvisation training which in turn translated to more frequent participation in jazz improvisation activities. Seven of the eight participants felt that jazz improvisation training should be required at the undergraduate level while all participants suggested ways that jazz improvisation training could be integrated into undergraduate curricula. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania; United States