A cappella ear training: bringing theory and aural skills together via singing in a jazz program environment

Article


Russell, Helen. 2017. "A cappella ear training: bringing theory and aural skills together via singing in a jazz program environment." Australian Journal of Music Education. 51 (2), pp. 20-28.
Article Title

A cappella ear training: bringing theory and aural skills together via singing in a jazz program environment

ERA Journal ID40391
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorRussell, Helen
Journal TitleAustralian Journal of Music Education
Journal Citation51 (2), pp. 20-28
Number of Pages8
Year2017
Place of PublicationParkville, Australia
ISSN0004-9484
Web Address (URL)https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=956907629505920;res=IELHSS
Abstract

As jazz study has become an established branch of the tertiary music landscape, disquiet has arisen in some quarters about the 'mechanical' way in which improvisation is taught. This study examined the ways in which singing in an a cappella harmony group affected the improvisational abilities of tertiary level jazz students. Over three semesters, students participated in a method developed by the author known as 'A cappella Ear Training' (AET). AET was used to test the author's assumption that learning to sing in harmony with other voices and without recourse to the mechanics of any instrument would improve the ability of the students to internalize the theoretical information with which they were being presented in all areas of the course. The research used a qualitative approach, and drew on data generated through participant-observation and interview techniques. Students were observed throughout the course, with the author making field notes on the practice of the class session. Further interviews with some participants were conducted to ascertain the students' perception of the AET approach. Analysis of the data confirmed that AET enabled the development of a theoretically informed practice whereby the participating students came to recognize concepts in practice and performance.

Keywordscappella; improvisation; jazz
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020360304. Music performance
Public Notes

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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Arts and Communication
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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