A Kennesaw State professor of music and music education recently received the 2018 Senior Researcher award from the National Association for Music Education.
Dr. Harry Price received the award in late March during the Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference in Atlanta. NAfME holds the conference every two years to celebrate and present research within music education.
After years of research in the music education field, Price said he is only the 16th person to have ever received the Senior Researcher award. Price’s research has been published in several journals, including the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Psychology of Music, and the International Journal of Music Education.
Price said his more than 35 years of research started with discovering a simple method of organizing how instructors should teach.
“It’s a very simple three-step thing,” Price said. “Which is you explain how to do something, you give the student a chance to do it and then you give them some feedback. That’s all it is.”
Price found that this method worked by observing students and instructors, employing different models and comparing these observations. His method, called sequential patterns of instruction, is now being used by universities around the country.
Price said he has not seen this method of teaching utilized as much at KSU in the School of Music. He said instructors have begun to use more technology and record students in conducting courses to let them go back, watch themselves, look for mistakes and learn, but instructors still do not give students more of a hands-on approach to learning.
“There is still a lot of, ‘Let me show you how it’s done,'” Price said. “If I were teaching it, I’d spend as much time letting the students do it, watch it and learn because they know the answers.”
Price is currently working on three areas of research. One of these areas involves using virtual reality to teach conducting to music students.
Price stressed the importance of using technology to improve learning in the classroom. In his previous research, he suggested using video cameras to record students conducting and using that to help students analyze their recordings and learn from them. Now, he is testing the use of VR on student’s learning in a beginner conducting course.
Price is also currently working on research involving audience reaction to musical performances. In some of his past research, Price found that the conductor has an impact on how audiences rate a performance.
“We had videotapes of two different conductors and had them conduct expressively or boring, basically,” Price said. “Now the trick was, the music was identical. Students didn’t know it.”
The study found that students rated the music more highly when they saw the more expressive conductor. Now, Price is delving further into this idea and looking at how the entire ensemble affects audience reaction.
Price is also currently analyzing how music educators and researchers conduct research. Price said this is “among the geekiest research I can think of, which is fun for me.”
Price and his team pulled data from the Journal of Research in Music Education’s first publication in 1953 through 2015. They are currently analyzing the citations, people who were published, what people were cited, how often people were cited and what kind of citations were being used.
Price wants to use this research as a way to find and understand how people do research and how publications from the past compare to more current research.
Price’s speech from the 2018 Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference will later be published in the Journal of Research in Music Education and in NAfME’s Teaching Music magazine.