Current Issue

Volume 2, Issue 1 – June 2020

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From the Editor
Jennifer S. Walter, Editor

Scrambled. That is how I describe the last 12 months since the first issue of QRME was published. I have scrambled around for months working, curating QRME, being a dynamic family member, raising a child, caring for our two rescue dogs, going up for full professor, coordinating the music education program, and the list goes on. And then everything kicked into even higher gear when we were sent home from our respective schools (my partner is a teacher also and my child is school-aged), and we were required to move to online instruction within one week due to COVID 19. So I scrambled more in order to make homeschooling work, to share spaces so we could all work from home, to meet with colleagues and students on various internet platforms, to make videos and content which never existed except in my head prior to now, and to make sure my students were alright, and remained healthy and engaged.

And then all of that scrambling came to a halt as I became aware that Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd were murdered. In fact, I can best describe it as the complete and utter cessation of everyday life: it occurred in both real time and slow motion simultaneously. I could not continue scrambling around when Black women and men, Ahmaud, Breonna, and George to name three of the most recent, were dying at the hands of others.

So I have spent the last weeks paralyzed by angst and overwhelming emotions. I have barely scraped enough brain power and motivation together in order to get through the day to day requirements of life, with little ability to articulate how horrified and worried I have been. My emotions have ranged from grief, sadness, and despondency to rage, terror, and disgust. I have been immobilized and completely shut down by the fear that one of my loved ones would be next to lose their life. You see, one of my very best friends in life and the maid of honor at my wedding is Black. My best friend from PhD school is Black. And one of my beloved longtime colleagues is Black. Their families are Black. My students are Black, and Brown, and Indigenous, and Jewish, and Muslim, and members of the LGBTQ+ communities. And yes, they are MY students. I claim them because I love and care for them. And I cannot imagine losing any one of them to the violence that has been and continues to be perpetrated on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and on all those who are marginalized.

So what does violence against marginalized populations have to do with qualitative research and this journal, QRME? It’s taken me several weeks to figure that out, and here it is. As a researcher and an Editor, I have a voice to tell their stories and state their truth. As a White woman, I have a platform to share the stories of my loved ones and my students. I can continue to learn about how music functions and what it means in the lives of marginalized children and adults, and those who are especially at risk of racism, anti-Semitism, and hate. I can educate myself and others and then in turn, as a White person, I can do a better job of recognizing and stamping out racism everywhere it exists in my life. I can use my power to speak up and write for others who have no voice. I can be a better advocate and a better ally. Will you join me?

Jennifer S. Walter, Founder and Editor-in-Chief

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The Perceptions of Adult Students and Collegiate Teachers in an Adult Group Piano Class: A Case Study
Diana T. Dumlavwalla1


This intrinsic case study examined the perceptions of adult students and collegiate student teachers in a university-sponsored adult group piano class. Common themes related to the collegiate teachers’ pedagogical development and the adult students’ progress specific to this learning setting were identified. Additionally, recommendations were provided for classes with similar settings, helping to continue the discussion about pedagogical implications related to instruction for older adult students.

This learning environment was a hybrid of the group and traditional private lesson settings. A lead collegiate teacher provided instruction to the whole class while additional collegiate teachers rotated throughout the piano lab providing specialized instruction to individual adult students. The adult students were drawn to this particular music learning setting because of the social nature of the class. They were motivated to practice regularly and appreciated the enthusiasm of the younger teachers.

The collegiate teachers were drawn to volunteer for this class in order to gain experience teaching in a non-threatening environment and learn more about the field of recreational music making. They all discovered that the goals of this particular student population were not the same as their own or others that they teach and they anticipated and observed the physical challenges that the adult students faced in this class. This analysis can help to maintain the discussion of how piano pedagogy plays a role in serving aging adult populations. It furthers the dialogue of assessing piano instruction formats, enhancing and expanding the options available to adult students. Finally, it addresses the development of social interactions among individuals of varying generations and how music lessons can enhance those connections.

Keywords: group piano, adult learners, piano pedagogy, teacher training, intergenerational learning, lifelong learning

1 Florida State University

Correspondence Author:
Diana Dumlavwalla, Florida State

© Qualitative Research in Music Education 2020 qrme.uncg.edu

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Musicians Almost Absent from Community Band Participation: A Multiple Case Study
Joshua E. Long3


Community music, activities for musicians to engage in a wide range of musical contexts (Higgins, 2012), exist when common attentiveness is shared by participants in a community of practice (Wenger, 1998). Community music happens primarily in ensembles, made mostly of volunteers, and can only perform when there are active participants. The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study (Creswell, 2013) is to investigate the almost absence of past participants in community bands. Six Low Active Participants (musicians who are active less than 6 months a year) were interviewed to describe their music making experiences during past community band participation. This study also included document collection and observations of both active and non-active community band musicians. Results indicated participants focus their involvement with musical engagement, ensemble appeal, organization practices, and motivating experiences.

Keywords: adult learning, situated learning, community of practice, community band, music making

3 Director of Bands and Lecturer of Music, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA

Corresponding Author:
Joshua E. Long, Marist College, Music Department, 3399 North Road, Murray Student Center,
Office 4025, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Email: joshua.long@marist.edu

© Qualitative Research in Music Education 2020 qrme.uncg.edu

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Music in Family Dynamics and Relationships: A Case Study
Claudia Calì4


The role of parents is central in children’s musical lives throughout childhood, yet it serves distinctive functions in different developmental stages. During early childhood, literature documents parents’ and children’s spontaneous musical interactions in daily life as a means for creating and sustaining bonding and mutuality. As children begin compulsory schooling and become involved in formal music instructions, research tends to highlight the influence and contribution of parents in children’s music learning process. In this case study, I present the musical life of one family with a toddler and a school-age child as a qualitative case study and document the full range of their musical experiences—spontaneous musical interactions and music learning activities—in which they are engaged on a daily basis. Through the portrait of a family highly immersed in music, I intend to depict the complex web of family members’ reciprocal influences and provide insights into their distinct but interconnected emotional worlds. Data analysis indicates that music is an enriching presence in family life, a source of emotional closeness that served to balance tensions and frustrations and develop relationships of mutual responsiveness. Whether dancing together at home, making up songs at dinner time, attending a Broadway show or practicing piano, music enabled family members to spend meaningful time together, attuned and drawn to each other by their shared musicality. Implications for music education research and practice are provided.

Keywords: musical parenting, spontaneous musical interactions, family musical relationships,
case study

4 New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Corresponding Author:
Claudia Calì, New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human
Development, 82 Washington Square E, New York, NY 10003
Email: cc6725@nyu.edu

© Qualitative Research in Music Education 2020 qrme.uncg.edu

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