Teacher Observations From Using an Informal Learning Framework in an Elementary Popular Music Ensemble

Cody Kelly

Abstract

This action research study examined teacher observations from using an informal learning framework, similar to Green’s (2002) research of popular music. Participants (n = 15) in this study included fifth and sixth grade instrumental music students in their second or third year of instruction. Participants engaged in improvising, composing, and copying music by ear in peer chosen groups. Data from the study included personal reflections of the teacher, student exit- tickets, student interviews, and administrator observations. Emergent themes of peer learning, autonomy, and heightened self-esteem arose from the data. These themes led to a larger theme of higher student engagement from using an informal learning framework in an elementary popular music ensemble.