The Power of Group Dynamics in Musical Ensembles

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Carys Kunze (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Jennifer Snodgrass

Abstract: "There is a lack of current and relevant academic literature focused on the importance of group dynamics to the success of a musical ensemble. Therefore, directors of musical ensembles may not fully understand the importance of this connection, particularly as it pertains to the learning and musical growth of those individuals within the ensemble. Greater knowledge about this phenomenon could be of great use to directors and performers alike in order to create a more successful rehearsal environment. This research seeks to study and demonstrate how the group dynamics of a musical ensemble may affect the quality of student learning and overall student experiences.Students of various ages in several collegiate choral ensembles were observed and surveyed about their experiences in each ensemble setting. This survey focused on student interactions within the ensemble, student enjoyment and perceptions of learning, and rehearsal climate. Rehearsals were observed with primary focus placed on observations of student interactions before, during, and after rehearsal, the leadership style of the director, and overall rehearsal climate. The results of this research were then compiled in order to find relationships between the above listed qualities, as well as associations between the various ensembles.Results have shown it to be difficult to make generalizations applicable to all choral ensembles. Nonetheless, a number of recurring correlations have been demonstrated in this study that indicate the importance of these relationships when considering student learning and musical growth. The results of this study may allow directors to gain a better understanding of the importance of group dynamics in their musical ensembles, thus4allowing directors to tailor their rehearsal and leadership styles so as to maximize student learning, enjoyment, and the quality of musical performance."

Additional Information

Honors Project
Kunze, C. (2015). "The Power of Group Dynamics in Musical Ensembles." Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2015

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