Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Lamont School of Music

First Advisor

David R. Montaño, D.M.A.

Second Advisor

Steven Mayer

Third Advisor

Eric Gould

Fourth Advisor

Jack Sheinbaum


Constructivism, Keyboard-centered curriculum, Music education, Nine National Standards, Non-music majors


In this study, data about occurrences in the affective domain of non-music-major subjects taking a keyboard-centered course that incorporates the nine National Standards for music education along with a methodology based on constructivist principles were collected. The problem of this study was to identify any patterns in those data that might suggest hypotheses about cause-and-effect relationships that might be tested later in quantitative studies with experimental design.

The instruction consisted of a keyboard-centered music education curriculum that encompassed the U.S. nine National Standards for music education along with a teaching methodology based on constructivist principles. This study was conducted in order to examine the relationship between five beginner piano subjects and the piano, revealed through observations (from their own perspective and the teacher's) on their feelings, thoughts, and emotions during the time of the research study. Data for this research study were collected from a variety of sources: pre- and post-instructional questionnaires, personal journal entries required from the participants, and researcher notes.

This was a qualitative study in which questionnaires were administered and in which the subjects and the instructor kept journals that were collected and examined. The lesson plans incorporated objectives representing the U.S. nine National Standards for music education, which are listed at the Web site of the National Association for Music Education (

1. Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

2. Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

3. Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.

4. Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines.

5. Reading and notating music.

6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.

7. Evaluating music and music performances.

8. Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.

9. Understanding music in relation to history and culture.

The teaching methodology was based on constructivist principles that describe learning as a process in which learners construct their musical knowledge and upgrade their schemata based on their musical experience, while the role of the teacher is to facilitate and guide this process. The implementation of the study and the actual data gathering took place at a medium-sized, private research university in the Rocky Mountain west of the United States during its 2012 spring quarter with subjects who were undergraduate non-music-major students. This thesis is a report and analysis of the data collected.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Gergana S. Argirova


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

353 p.


Music education