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Thesis 1

Thesis Title: Enculturation, Music Education and Instrumental Learning in the Traditional Irish Music Experience: a case study of one Gaelscoil
Degree Type: MEd
Degree Specialism: Music Education
Supervisor(s): Mr Sťan Mac Liam
Thesis Status: Accepted
Date Submitted / Accepted: August 2002
Institution Submitting / Submitted To: St. Patricks College, DCU
No. of Volumes (no. of pages): 1
Thesis Location / Link: Cregan Library, St. Patrickís College, Drumcondra, Dublin 9
Genres / Musical Instruments: Empirical study
Key Issues / Concepts: Learning theory, qualitative and quantitative research methods, music socialisation
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of enculturation as a dominant cultural learning process. The focus of the study was on music education and particularly on instrumental teaching and learning in the specific cultural context of a Gaelscoil. This research takes the format of a case study of one particular Gaelscoil. The direction of the research study emerged from insights gained by extensive reading of relevant literature.

Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used in the research design, and the views of students, parents and teachers were sought in an attempt to achieve a balanced view. Data was collected by the administration of student and parent questionnaires and the interviewing of two teachers currently involved in instrumental tuition in the school. There was a marked similarity in the views of all three participant groups.

The empirical evidence indicates that providing music education in the cultural context of a Gaelscoil significantly increases the participation of students in musical activity. This is especially true with traditional Irish instrumental music. The majority of students in this school are learning to play one instrument and many are learning to play more than one. The data also suggests that the enjoyment derived from playing instrumental music increases with studentsí experience and competence levels.

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