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Colloquium Series Participants Bios and Abstracts - April 25, 2011

Student and Director Perceptions of An All-County Band Festival
Travis Weller

The purpose of this study was to survey students and directors regarding their experiences at and perspectives of an all-county intra-school concert band festival. The design of this study was mixed method with concurrent collection of qualitative and quantitative data, each with equal status. Student participants (N=41) using a Likert scale reacted to an on-line 10-statement survey related to themes from the review of literature. The students’ sponsoring directors (N=7) participated in an interview in which they were posed questions similar to that of the student survey. Results of the study indicated directors and students viewed festival experience as a motivator to improve musical performance skills, develop positive attitudes towards music and music events, and a unique opportunity to experience a wide range of literature in an ensemble with complete and balanced instrumentation. The role of the guest conductor was viewed an important aspect of the festival to facilitate student collaboration to attain high performance levels, model rehearsal techniques and concepts, and to instill positive attitudes and develop musical skills in the participants.

Travis J. Weller is an active arranger, composer, educator and advocate of music education. He has been the Director of Bands at Mercer Area Middle-Senior High School since August of 1995.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Grove City College, and graduated from Duquesne University with a Master’s Degree in Music Education.  He is a published composer of band music with several national companies, and has authored articles in the PMEA Journal, Campus Technology, and the Phi Beta Mu International Newsletter. Travis resides in Mercer, PA with his wife Beth, their three daughters and a son.


Understanding Motivation In Practice: A Study of Influential Factors
Christopher Jones


The purpose of this in depth case study is to determine (1) how beginning band students utilize individual practice time, (2) What motivated their practice session, and (3) What effect any environmental influence, specifically parents, siblings, or peers, have on the efficiency and motivation of the participants’ practice. The 8 participant interviews used for this study were selected through purposeful sampling from a population of 42 beginning band students. Initially 15 students were interviewed based on interest to participate in the study and their returned signed consent and assent forms. From these 15 interviews, eight interviews were selected for this case study based on the descriptive data obtained from their interview responses. Following a normal band rehearsal the students were given their normal evening practice assignment and told to pay close attention to what it is that they do, and what goes on, as they practice. To keep the details fresh in their minds and to get as much detail as possible the participants were instructed to come in for a one-on-one recorded interview as soon a possible after a routine practice session. Data collection consisted of individual recorded interviews that were transcribed and coded into categories or themes. The interview transcriptions were read through by the participants for purposes of member checking to ensure and verify their intent in their responses. To further triangulate the data another experienced music educator read through the transcripts for code checking. Relational patterns of practice motivation and environmental influences on their practice both within each case and across cases were analyzed in an attempt to determine the most effective way(s) to motivate a beginning band students’ practice.


Christopher Jones is currently in his 15th year of teaching instrumental music. He is presently in his 14th year in the Orrville City School District in Orrville, Ohio.  His teaching responsibilities include the Orrville Middle School and High School. At the middle school he directs the 5th grade beginning band, 6th grade band, 7th and 8th grade bands, as well as teaches 6th grade general music. His responsibilities at the high school include marching band, jazz ensemble, and pep band.  Mr. Jones received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education (1996) and a Masters Degree in Music Education (2004) from The University of Akron. He is currently a doctoral student pursuing a PhD in Music Education at Kent State University. Research interests include Music Learning Theory and audiation. He resides in Orrville, Ohio with his wife Laura and daughters Katherine and Callie.


Music Education Philosophies and Practices of Early Childhood Educators
Terri Brown Lenzo


The purpose of this study was to examine the current state of affairs in early childhood music education and to compare the results to those reported by other researchers over the last 30 years. Three questions were investigated: (1) What are the attitudes and opinions of early childhood generalists toward music education? (2) What types of musical activities are early childhood generalists most comfortable including in their classrooms? (3) What types of musical training, in terms of content and format, have early childhood generalists experienced, and which types would they be most interested in pursuing?  Using a survey research design and purposive sampling, the researcher administered a questionnaire to 21 teachers from two early childhood centers in Northeast Ohio.  Survey results corroborated previous findings for the first two research questions. Although the majority of teachers felt music education was important and should be included in early childhood education, they often did not include musical activities in their curriculum because they did not feel comfortable with their own musical abilities and were in need of additional training. When conducting a literature review for the third question, this researcher could find no evidence that early childhood teachers had been surveyed regarding their preferences for types of music education professional development. Findings of this study indicated that the majority of respondents would prefer a group workshop held at their school. Using these results it may be possible to develop a professional development program to address the music education needs of early childhood teachers.


Terri Brown Lenzo earned her Bachelor of Music Degree at The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, a Master of Fine Arts Degree from The University of Iowa and holds two levels of Orff Certification. She has 27-years experience as a band director and early childhood classroom music teacher in public, private and independent educational settings. Ms. Lenzo taught undergraduate level music education courses during her two and one-half years as a graduate assistant at Kent State University, and will complete coursework for the Ph.D. in Music Education this Spring, 2011. Her areas of interest include early-childhood music education, family music, and music teacher education and recruitment.

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