One of the common negative trends in modern musical pedagogy in additional education institutions is the deficit of effective communication between teachers and students replaced by one-sided pedagogical influence. In the best case, “feedback” appears in the educational process in the form of consideration of students’ interests and requests, specific psychological characteristics, the level of musical abilities, etc. Meanwhile, the pedagogical technologies themselves often exclude any collaboration between students and teachers in mastering the musical repertoire and do not implement the person-centered approach to learning the essence of which lies in developing the qualities of students that are important for their spiritual, moral, and overall aesthetic development. The latter is viewed in this case as a mere byproduct achieved inevitably by virtue of the very fact of teaching students the art of music and performance which has an inescapable beneficial effect on a student’s personality.
Moreover, such a feature of additional music education as the crucial importance of informal relationships and interactions between teachers and students in contrast to the general and vocational education saturated with strictly regulated forms of learning is also not taken into account.
Considering that additional education is primarily carried out based on students’ voluntary participation, the subject-subject pedagogical activity as a prevailing one becomes more preferable compared to the subject-object musical pedagogy [1-3]. Thus, there emerge real prerequisites for “the pedagogy of cooperation” between students and teachers in which directing pedagogical technologies become relevant.
The directing space of music pedagogy must be considered as an opportunity for the activation of students’ artistic and cognitive activities, as well as a special organization of the emotional experience obtained during lessons and public performances. Moreover, the situation of co-creation created in this case implies the involvement of all participants in pedagogical interaction (teachers and students) in which the mutual exchange of professional knowledge, skills, and abilities (mostly on the teachers’ part), as well as experiences of perceptions of music, individual interpretations, and the mastered content of musical pieces (predominantly on the students’ part), takes place. The study of opportunities provided by directing technologies contributing to the emergence of such situations in this process presents an important research objective in the theory and practice of musical pedagogy.
Thus, it appears relevant to study the directing space both in the organization of the ongoing lessons and musical rehearsals including teacher-student interaction, work on musical repertoire, in the process of concert performances and preparation for them and the development of the appropriate psychophysiological apparatus of performers.
Directing space as a cultural phenomenon having potential for aesthetic and spiritual and moral influence is studied in several works [4-8]. The directing space comprises the dramatic space, the scenic space, the scenographic space, the play space, the textual space with its own graphic, phonetic, and rhetorical materiality, and the internal space (the dialogue between the subjects of theatrical interaction) [5,8].
Some researchers examine the material space in which the creative team members and individual performers function, its equipment, the audience hall, etc., as well as the supramaterial directing space synthesizing the artistic concept (in our case, the pedagogical concept) and the technical, scenographic, musical, and other means providing the necessary level of the theatricalization of the pedagogical process .
Theorists and practitioners of directing emphasize the inseparability of the directing space from the temporal context (the physical, psychological, and historical time). The director’s concept of a directing space as an opportunity for conditional theatrical actions confronting the physical reality and taking its subjects into the world of artistic fantasy and fiction is of special importance for contemporary artistic and pedagogical reality . This signifies that a teacher can also experiment with contrived artistic reality within the psychological, historical, and cultural space to activate students’ imagination and creativity.
Researchers studying the directing space note its capability to contract and expand depending on the given artistic decision . The more this space is filled with props and various objects, the more it shrinks giving less room for imagination and self-determination of those who fill it . This aspect appears highly significant for artistic pedagogy due to the objective of activating students’ creative independence which is especially important in additional education that regulates students’ behavior way less compared to general education institutions.
The study uses a set of pedagogical research methods including the theoretical (analysis, summarization, pedagogical modeling) and empirical methods (observation, interviews, pedagogical diagnostics).
In addition, a pedagogical experiment is conducted to reveal the effectiveness of the implementation of directing technologies in modern artistic and pedagogical activities in additional education institutions. The experiment involves creating the Control (CG) and Experimental (EG) groups of teachers in additional education teaching pop vocals. Both the control and experimental groups are formed by 15 teachers each. In the control group, the training process during the year was carried out according to the traditional methodology deploying the elements of directing mainly at the final stage of the preparation of concert performances. In the experimental group, the entire educational and rehearsal process was carried out in a specially organized directing space.
The experiment included the following stages. The first stage was the formation of a single community of students as spectators of the theatrical and musical process, played out in front of them by the teachers. The second stage was the involvement of the students themselves in performing practice in the context of creative competitions, in which special attention was paid to the entire set of performance components necessary to create a holistic stage image. The third stage was the development of one's own performing style and the corresponding forms of stage implementation. The fourth stage was the demonstration of students with the participation of teachers of the ability to musical and stage improvisation with the wide use of theatrical technologies. It was assumed that, ultimately, the participants in the experiment would be able to demonstrate their musicality as a stable personality trait in combination with artistry as an organic model of social behavior not only on stage but also in situations of everyday social interaction with others.
The study involves exploring the process of immersion of the musical-pedagogical process into the directing space that had initially started with the rejection of authoritarian methods of teaching musical art in the system of additional education. An appropriate style of communication between teachers and students dominated by tactful forms of pedagogical remarks and comments, the preferential consideration of students as full participants in the learning process expected to show a certain level of self-control, self-regulation, and self-organization affecting their moral self-consciousness and ability for self-criticism is created.
To obtain this result, students’ consistent ability to see themselves as the subject of interaction with the teacher was formed. Focusing students’ attention on these aspects of learning is largely characteristics of directing pedagogy that develops performers’ striving to assess themselves from the viewpoint of potential spectators, listeners, the surrounding partners, and the teacher-director which serves as a major resource for their development as stage work performers.
It is important to note that the immersion of musical pedagogy into the directing space also involved certain requirements of teachers for themselves as the subjects of the pedagogical process. This system of requirements starts with the appearance of teachers which is often underestimated in real musical and pedagogical practice. This involves both a teacher’s clothing that has to be aesthetically attractive, their facial expression that has to show openness for dialogue, benevolence, and friendliness as the predominant emotional states, the expressiveness of the voice, the absence of abrupt movements, etc. Teachers of the experimental study group sought to be liked by their students primarily as a person ready to understand them, enter into friendly relations with them (without panic), showing love and sympathy for the future musicians.
This pedagogical self-directing is even more justified considering that teaching musical performance is not a value in itself in additional musical education. It is incorporated into a broader context of moral and aesthetic development of students’ personalities by means of musical art. To a certain extent, a personality developed well in this respect has to be demonstrated by the teacher themselves being an example of appropriate social behavior and relationships with others. In a sense, any professional teaching activity has much in common with the acting profession bearing the stamp of artistry and stage charm. The students themselves function as a certain audience and listeners.
Moreover, in developing their own pedagogically artistic image, each teacher of the experimental group preferred timely encouragement of students and the ability to rejoice even the smallest successes with them instead of constant criticism and emphasis on various imperfections. In this case, encouragement should not be mixed with approval of students’ persistent laziness, negligence, and disrespect both for the process of music lessons and for the teacher themselves.
Overall, the teachers were creating a constant optimistic mood and a major atmosphere in music classes. This shows the difference between the use of directing in music classes in the sphere of additional education and professional theater directing where severe criticism of acting students on the part of the director-teacher is the norm since the whole pedagogical process focuses on creating a professional performance corresponding to high artistic requirements.
In turn, the main aspect in musical pedagogy is the very musical material that has to be mastered and performed at a decent artistic level. The image of the performer of a vocal work itself largely depends on the original musical material and the corresponding stage image [11,12]. This certainly does not demolish the need for the formation of certain scenic skills in the performer but the main objective primarily lies in conveying to the listening audience the content and artistic and expressive features of the musical work in which the stage image of the vocalist is auxiliary (unlike in case of professional actors) and not the end in itself.
Accordingly, compared to professional theatrical directing, the main objective of directing is different in this case. In a sense, every musical lesson was a full performance for the teacher (rather than a rehearsal) where they had to “win” their students’ favor each time similar to an actor prepared to perform on stage.
This does not imply a teacher’s complete departure from critical notes, manifestations of discontent, etc., towards their students if needed. Nevertheless, even in this case, a teacher was not losing “a sense of stage presence” and provided criticism exclusively in an aesthetic form without abandoning their image as a performer of the given theatrical role - an older friend generally benevolent towards students who share with them the secrets of the performing arts and grieves when they do not show the same love for musical art.
The importance of such artistic charisma and the personal charm of a teacher is vividly illustrated in Hermann Hesse’s famous work “The Glass Bead Game” describing the young musician Knecht’s first meeting with the Master of Music:
“A very old man, it seemed to him at first, not very tall, white-haired, with a fine, clear face and penetrating, light-blue eyes. The gaze of those eyes might have been frightening, but they were serenely cheerful as well as penetrating, neither laughing nor smiling, but filled with a calm, quietly radiant cheerfulness. He shook hands with the boy, nodded, and sat down with deliberation on the stool in front of the old practice piano
- You are Joseph Knecht? - He said, - Your teacher seems content with you. I think he is fond of you. Come, let’s make a little music together...
The boy looked at the player’s clever white fingers, saw the course of the development faintly mirrored in his concentrated expression, while his eyes remained quiet under half-closed lids… And when the playing had come to an end, he saw this magician and king for whom he felt so intense a reverence pause for a little while longer, slightly bowed over the keys, with half-closed eyes, his face softly glowing from within. Joseph did not know whether he ought to rejoice at the bliss of this moment, or weep because it was over. The old man slowly raised himself from the piano stool, fixed those cheerful blue eyes piercingly and at the same time with unimaginable friendliness upon him, and said:- Making music together is the best way for two people to become friends. There is none easier. That is a fine thing. I hope you and I shall remain friends” .
The ascertaining stage of the experiment involved determining the readiness of teachers in the control and experimental group for creating a directing space within the process of education and upbringing.
The work conducted in the experimental group involving the formation of a pedagogy-oriented directing space produced the following results. The teachers are found to overcome the widespread trend of underestimating the importance of the personality of a student themselves regardless of the pursued pedagogical objectives. This trend was greatly battled through the corresponding direction of the lessons involving the creation of a trusting atmosphere stimulating students' self-disclosure and the teacher’s comprehension of their own inner issues and relations with those around them. At the same time, pedagogical directing techniques close to the “theater of experience” are certainly auxiliary as they contribute to a teacher’s self-disclosure in front of their students. They do not provide a replacement for sincerity and honesty in the relationship between teachers and students.
While in the experimental group, a teacher’s work with students implied “an extension from above”, the individual lessons more often involved a teacher being “an annex” as an equal of “from down below”. Accordingly, during the group lessons, effectiveness was demonstrated by the direction of lessons close to a performance in which the teacher had been maximizing their own artistic abilities.
In individual lessons, a student themselves was encouraged not merely as a performer of a musical piece but also as a person capable of demonstrating their artistic qualities in the process of preparing a performance on stage. Accordingly, pedagogical assistance was involved not only in the direction of a certain structure of students’ concert performances but also the ongoing lessons designed in a way that ensured the presence of a visible or invisible spectator or listener audience observing the music lessons. The function of the visible audience was performed by the teacher themselves. The “invisible” audience was formed by the teacher’s reactions to a student’s performing efforts from the standpoint of spectators and listeners. These reactions involved capturing even the smallest successes in a young musician’s performance.
Within the system of additional education, the authoritarian style of pedagogy was reduced in such teachers to a minimum since the very nature of musical art accompanied here by voluntary engagement demolishes the predominance of the methods of coercion to music lessons and the punitive sanctions. First and foremost, music is a world of feelings, the world in which students were immersed by teachers in the experimental group where musical performance was not overly dominant since the world of feelings cannot be forced onto a person, it can mostly be stimulated and sustained by the moral and psychological means including the directing ones .
In accordance with the program of the experiment, the principle of etudes was common in the organization of lessons. Played etudes are known to be one of the foundations of actors’ training. In the activities of the teachers of the experimental group, the etudes involved not simply learning the corresponding vocal exercises but deployed different “tests” in the process of learning a variety of simplified (“intermediate”) vocal repertoire in a situation approximated to a concert performance. This resulted not only in the technical vocal performance skills being practiced emotionally and engagingly but also in the students developing the personal qualities important for stage performances (imagination, self-control during a performance, emotional expression, etc.).
The special pedagogical meaning of etudes also lies in the fact that the students were unafraid of failure since the test performances provide an opportunity for this. The teachers practicing etudes as one of the main technologies demonstrate constant benevolence and the desire to support the students psychologically giving them the confidence needed to overcome the difficulties faced in performance [9,15-17].
“The sense of stage presence” developed in students emerged not only in the “etude” classes but also through participation in the various festive events, evenings, and amateur performances organized by the teacher and involving the performance of the vocal repertoire mastered by the students in the classroom. This supported a certain level of students’ motivation for learning which is especially important in additional education where a student’s interest in vocal art comes to the fore.
The results of the study are presented in the following table
The table shows that the active implementation of directing technologies in the process of additional musical education allows to largely decrease the level of student drop-out, activate students’ performing activities, and increase academic performance.
The study of musical pedagogy practice shows that one of the effective ways of organizing lessons is dividing them into three stages involving the use of directing technologies, namely the design stage, the stage of free directing activities, and the reflexive stage. The proposed pedagogical strategy using the achievements of theatrical direction was to a certain extent an alternative to the issue discussed by some theater researchers on the essence of theatrical space, which, in their opinion, should be formed in connection with the preparation of theatrical performance as the main component of this space [4,5]. In our research, we focused on the viewer themself, their study, which corresponds to the basic setting of several researchers and practitioners of the theatrical process and its significance for various spheres of human practice [6,7,8,18].
The first stage (the design stage) is important for the music teachers inclined to create a scenario of a lesson (or a cycle of lessons), to think through the mise-en-scene, to develop an emotional score of training sessions. This stage, in turn, includes the following sequential algorithms:
• Designing the artistic and creative atmosphere of a lesson;
• Planning the introduction of students to the content of the training session (exposition);
• Planning “the script of a lesson” involving creative activity, the intensification of the emotional content of the lesson, and various intellectual and cognitive activities; moreover, each lesson is constructed following the simplest dramaturgical and musical form including the beginning of the training session, the development of its plot, the culmination and denouement of a given educational script. Accordingly, the important components of the lesson include:
• “the plot of the lesson” including the creative, heuristic, emotional, and intellectual activities, as well as the plot, development, climax, and denouement of the action.
Next comes the stage of open directing action comprising:
• The organization of an “event” played out by the teacher together with the students;
• The implementation of the “super-objective” and the construction of “mise-en-scene”;
• Reaching the climax and the accompanying catharsis;
• Constructing the finale (denouement) of the action;
• The epilogue (the developed debriefing).
Finally, there comes the reflexive stage involving an afterword (the developed reflection on the taught lesson together with the students).
The inclusion of theatrical and directing technologies in the artistic and pedagogical process is consonant with the further development of the theatrical art of foreign researchers, who insist that the future of the theater is associated with the deepening and expansion of forms of interaction between the theater and the audience . Assertions about the prospects for the development of "post-dramatic theater" are increasingly encountered, in which the interaction of actors (in our case, "teacher-actors" and "student-actors") with the audience and between the audience, where there is no permanent dramatic text, comes to the fore . The theatrical action is increasingly acquiring the features of a performance, which is more and more in demand in modern art pedagogy [21,22]. The phenomenon of immersive theater, which has enormous cognitive potential and a variety of means of emotional impact on the audience-participants, is also becoming promising in the pedagogical sense .
According to foreign experts, the future of the theater is associated with its further rapprochement with social experiment, especially with the participation of the younger generation, which sets the appropriate directions and content of this experimentation. For the further development of directing technologies in the artistic and pedagogical process, it is also productive to compare the theater with a ritual aimed at personal development and having several stages: 1) the stage of separation (of the individual from the everyday and familiar environment); 2) the transitional stage (the stage of transformation, when the participant of the ritual is in an intermediate position between various states and spheres); 3) the stage of restoration (returning to society in a new status, with a changed identity) . It is also promising to pay special attention to the comfort of the audience as an independent director's task .
Consistent relevance for the formation of the directing space of musical pedagogy in the institutions of additional education is demonstrated by many provisions of K.S. Stanislavsky’s system . The essence of these provisions boils down to the following.
Action is a foundation of performing arts. To a certain extent, Stanislavsky’s system is a notional concept. The author admits that learning at a distance is impossible and personal communication between a teacher and a student and the direct transmission of experience are crucial. A play (lesson) is woven out of actions, each action must lead to a certain goal. Thus, a teacher has to design their role and play it by means other than the imitation of the emotions of the accepted role, otherwise, they will look fake and resort to the use of cliches destroying the perception of their role. A teacher has to construct a sequence of elementary physical actions. Physical action produces an inner experience that appears natural and truthful rather than long-winded [27,28].
It is also necessary to analyze how the teacher themselves may be perceived by the students (looking at oneself from the outside, self-reflection). Whether they have done everything to make their students like them, to inspire respect and not fear (which is especially important in repressive school pedagogy) [29,30].
Of importance is being internally logical in one'’ pedagogical actions in relation to the accepted role (“not falling out” of it). To be guided by the super-objective of the lesson – the change in the inner world of a student (herein, performing actions have to be derived from that state). To “get through” to the inner world of a student.
A teacher has to strive to arrive at a common understanding of the most essential aspects of the studied musical and semantic content of the mastered singing repertoire and seek the best way of its development and embodiment in the performing activity together with a student. In doing so, a teacher “merges” the educational objectives with the playful and recreational impact.
According to Stanislavsky, a teacher has to work on themselves and the pedagogical role they have taken on (being accepted by students). (“One’s own content and the external form” of pedagogical behavior – as in working on a role).
Observation of experienced teachers in additional education shows that the most promising pedagogical; strategy is the development of general musicality and the moral and aesthetic upbringing of students carried out under the condition that each interaction between a teacher and a student becomes a certain form of a theatrical performance shaped by elaborate mise-en-scenes (pedagogical situations) accompanied by the acting the teacher in relation to the studied musical material. This serves as the most stable stimulus for students during music performance lessons. In this context, K. Orff’s requirement for teachers under his guidance to show the maximum level of artistry during music lessons with students is especially meaningful.
Implementations of the study. The conclusions of the conducted study may be of interest for professional training, retraining, and advanced training of teachers in additional education and can be used in real practice of musical pedagogy.
The scientific novelty of the study lies in the identification of the main pedagogical processes of musical development in students of additional education institutions using the specially developed space of pedagogy-oriented directing.
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Elena Natalia Sergeevna Yushchenko, Russian State Social University, 4-1 Wilhelm Pieck str., Moscow, 129226, Russia, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Grigorieva EI, Kruglova MG, Asatryan OF, Oparina
NA, Gribkova GI, et al. The use of directing technologies in the system of additional education (2021) Edelweiss Appli Sci Tech 5: 61-65
Pedagogy, Directing, Music Pedagogy, Space,