The University of St. Thomas


Augustin, Cathy

Augustin, Cathy

A Descriptive Study to Determine the Opinions of Community Band Members Regarding the Effectiveness of Comprehensive Musicianship Cathy V. Augustin

Various comprehensive musicianship teaching methods have been used in school instrumental programs throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  The intent of this study was to determine the attitudes of adult community band members on the use of comprehensive musicianship teaching methods within rehearsals. 

Members of the South of the River Community Band were asked to complete a survey containing twenty forced-choice statements.  Forty-three surveys were returned and used in this study.   The survey included statements concerning the band member’s attitudes towards learning additional information about the music being prepared.  Specifically, the survey contained statements regarding thematic (melodic) transformation and the use of consonant and dissonant harmonies.  Subjects indicated strong agreement, agreement, disagreement, or strong disagreement to each survey statement. 

Findings suggest that subjects welcome the opportunity of learning about composers’ compositional techniques, feel that knowledge about thematic transformation in a piece of music develops their personal level of musicality, and that they are able to apply new information to their playing.  Results also suggest that word choice in the conductor’s instruction on thematic transformation is helpful for understanding.  More discrepancy was found in the responses regarding how band members react to learning information about consonant and dissonant harmonies found in a piece of music.

In conclusion, members of the South of the River Community Band were found to be accepting of learning additional musical knowledge during a rehearsal.  Continuing a program such as this, and promoting the idea of incorporating comprehensive musicianship to other adult ensembles is a viable option worth pursuing.

Thesis Supervisor
Dr. Bruce P. Gleason