Comprehensive Musicianship Through Performance (CMP) in the Lived Experience of Students
The purpose of this study was to examine teacher knowledge in classrooms where teachers use the Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance (CMP) Model, and examine the ways in which CMP facilitates student learning in the ensemble setting. Students who participate in school music programs typically spend countless hours in various ensembles, particularly band, choir, and orchestra. Mastery of technical proficiency remains the primary goal of these ensembles. Historical initiatives, such as comprehensive musicianship, sought to engage students in other musicianly roles. CMP, developed in Wisconsin in 1977, is a planned process to guide instruction in cognitive, affective, and skill development for students in performing ensembles. The Model consists of five planning points: analysis, assessment, music selection, outcomes, and strategies. This study examined how teachers who use CMP plan for student understanding in band.
Participants in this collective case study included two teachers, one middle school and one high school, and six students—three from each school. Data collection included observations, interviews, writing prompts, email correspondence, teaching plans, and teacher journals. Analysis of teacher data revealed three themes: (1) teachers made extensive use of the Model to guide students’ musical experience ( intense planfulness ); (2) separate components of the Model merged during instruction ( intersections of the CMP Model ); and (3) teachers valued transfer of knowledge from one piece to another, but this was not always realized ( transfer ). Cross-case analysis of student data revealed four themes: (1) students’ descriptions of the music go beyond technical considerations ( insights into the music ); (2) students make connections between the pieces they are performing and other contexts ( transfer ); (3) students may be aware, unsure, or indifferent to teachers’ intentions ( alignment ); and (4) students describe multiple dimensions of learning music ( understanding ). This study found differences between teachers’ intentions and the students’ experience of those intentions, which are described as alignment, fuzzy alignment , and misalignment . Students do not always think deeply about their musical experience and the ways in which instructional strategies enrich their understanding unless teachers make an effort to facilitate that understanding. The lived experience of students in ensembles where CMP is practiced is rich, varied, and multidimensional.