Is philosophical talent combined with musical talent

Abstracts of the presentations at the DGM annual conference 2000

"MUSICAL ABILITY AND EXPERTISE /

MUSICAL GIFTEDNESS AND EXPERTISE "

September 21-23, 2000 in Freiburg (music academy)


Kurt A. Heller (University of Munich)

Musical talent in the light of giftedness and expertise research

Theoretical models, identification and support approaches

Musical and artistic talents are included in the so-called non-academic talents in specialist psychological literature. In general, talent is understood to mean a potential for exceptional performance in one - less often more than one - area / s, whereby the terms "talent" and "talent" are used more or less synonymously in the German-speaking world. Musical abilities or talents thus denote extraordinary abilities in the field of music, which can represent very different facets in this domain.

During the Talentunderstood on the individual abilitypotential is focused, the refers Expertiseunderstood on Excellence in performance in a particular domain, e.g. B. Music. Accordingly, research on talent is designed prospectively, i. H. is primarily interested in talent development and its prognosis. In contrast to this, expert research compares experts with beginners or laypeople in a certain domain (expert-novice paradigm) in order to retrospectively record, above all, learning and motivational psychological as well as social conditions of performance excellence. The interindividual differences in talent tend to play a marginal role.

It is only in the more recent talent research that a combination of both paradigms is sought. Therefore, in the first part of the lecture, current Theories on giftedness and expertise with special consideration of musical talents. The main interest is to what extent these models can explain phenomena of musical talent.

In the second part of the lecture, more recent empirical research findings will be discussed, with problems of Recognition (identification) and advancement highly gifted children and young people are the focus. From the music pedagogical point of view, z. B. early indicators of musical talent, interest in music etc., but also musical memory, perfect pitch, abilities of transposing, improvising and composing, relationships between musicality and creativity as well as intelligence, between musicality and visual perception, laterality hypotheses, "savant syndrome" and finally, the relationship between early musical talent and musical expertise in adulthood.

When it comes to developing and promoting musical talents, the role of the family and the school resp. the teacher cannot be overlooked. While talent research is primarily interested in genetic influences and socialization conditions of talent development, expertise research focuses on motivational incentives and support measures in the social learning environment, including education for self-discipline and perseverance as the most important conditions for qualitatively demanding exercise / training phases (deliberate practice-Concept).

In conclusion, be practical Identification and support approaches discussed in the light of talent and expertise research.

 

Kurt A. Heller (University of Munich)

Musical Talent In The Light Of Giftedness And Expertise Research

Theoretical Models And Approaches To Identification And Promotion

Musical and artistic talents are classified under the so-called non-academic gifts in psychological literature. In general, one understands (high levels of) giftedness as the potential ability to attain remarkable achievements in a - rarely several - domain / s, whereby, in the German language, the terms "gift" and "talent" are applied more or less synonymously. Musical gifts or talents denote remarkable abilities in the area of ​​music and can represent very different facets of this domain. While the term poison focuses on the individual ability potential, the term expertise indicates performance excellence in a specific domain, e. G. music. The research of talent is structured accordingly, i. e. main interest is placed on the development and prognosis of talents. In contrast, expertise research compares experts to novices or laymen in a specific domain (expert-novice-paradigm) in order retrospectively to ascertain social conditions relevant to performance excellence from the perspectives of learning as well as motivational psychology. Here inter-individual talent differences are assumed to play only a minor role.

The newer approaches to talent research have begun to strive towards a combination of both paradigms. Therefore, the first section of the speech will describe current theories of giftedness and expertise, with particular consideration being paid to musical talents. Above all, one is interested in determining to what degree these models can explain the phenomena of musical talents.

The second section of the speech is devoted to new empirical findings in which the problems of identification other promotion of highly gifted children and adolescents are of central importance. Interesting aspects of musical pedagogy include early indicators of musical talent, interest in music, etc. but also of relevance are: musical memory; perfect pitch; the ability to transpose, improvise and compose; the relationship between musical giftedness and creativity and / or intelligence; the relationship between musical giftedness and visual perceptual skills; lateral hypotheses; the "savant syndrome" and finally the relationship between musical giftedness in early ages and musical expertise in adulthood.

In dealing with the development and promotion of musical talents, one cannot overlook the importance of the roles played by the family and the school, in particular the teacher. Although giftedness research is interested, above all, in the genetic influences and socialization conditions affecting talent development, expertise research directs its attention to motivational incentives and support mechanisms of the social learning environment, which also encompass the training of self-discipline and perseverance as the most important prerequisites for qualitative, ambitious training phases (deliberate practice concept).

In conclusion, practical Approaches to the identification and promotion of talents in the light of giftedness and expertise research will be discussed.


Françoys Gagné (Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada)

What do musicians see as the main causes for the development of talent?

In a large-scale study of the naive theories of music teachers and students, we examined (a) beliefs about the inheritance of musical abilities and (b) the perceived causal hierarchy of a series of key determinants for the development of talent. The inheritance of human abilities is a very debatable issue, even among leading social scientists. The naive beliefs of music teachers and students were meant to be a contrapuntal perspective. A large sample (N = 672) of French and English-speaking music teachers and students from Quebec assessed the inheritance of seven musical abilities: (1) intelligence (ease of understanding theories and abstract concepts), (2) auditory abilities (musical hearing), (3 ) motor dexterity, (4) rhythm, (5) auditory memory (memorizing melodies), motor memory (memorizing fingerings) and (7) musicality. The results revealed very large individual differences in viewpoints, ranging from the complete negation of any genetic underpinning of these abilities to belief in a strong genetic component in all. Yet only a small minority denied any genetic basis for musical abilities. On average, a significant but moderate genetic component was suspected in all seven abilities. Auditory skills (musical hearing) and rhythm were judged to be significantly more hereditary than the other five proposed skills. We found significant role and cultural effects: schoolchildren and French Quebecers showed more milieu-related beliefs. These two effects together accounted for only 6% of the inter-subject variance. No other socio-demographic or occupational variable explained any significant amount of the observed variation.

There is also considerable controversy in the scientific literature as to which factors determine whether one becomes an average musician or, on the contrary, achieves performance at a high artistic level. In order to be able to assess naive beliefs about the rank of determinants for excellent quality, the participants completed a questionnaire. This contained closed questions to assess the perceived most important and least important reasons for talent differences between highly skilled and average young musicians. Two different situations have been suggested: a comparison between the best and worst beginners in music teaching, and a comparison between very good and exceptional advanced high school-aged students. Three results stand out: (a) The perceived hierarchy of causal factors shows very large individual differences, which (b) nevertheless leave room for clear general trends shared by the majority; (c) these trends appear to be mostly independent of the level of talent or the characteristics of the respondents. Musical skills come first, followed by perseverance, practice duration, interest (love of music) and personality traits. Environmental influences (e.g., domestic music environment, parental support and supervision, music teacher) and random factors were given lower positions. The only significant group differences observed set the teachers apart from the students, and differentiate a little bit between the two comparative situations. Both methods for assessing the beliefs of musicians confirm the perceived role of musical talent as significant - with its genetic basis as an essential determinant of the development of talent. Only a minority of these musicians, both teachers and students, seem to approve of the milieu-related creed with its rejection of individual differences in "natural" talent.

 

Françoys Gagné (Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada)

Musicians ’Beliefs Concerning The Major Causes Of Talent Emergence

In a large-scale study on the lay theories of music educators and students, we examined (a) heritability beliefs about musical abilities, and (b) the perceived causal hierarchy of a series of major determinants of talent emergence. The heritability of human abilities is a very controversial question, even among scholars in the social sciences. The lay beliefs of music educators and students were sought as a counterpoint perspective. A large sample (N = 672) of French-speaking and English-speaking Quebec music educators and students assessed the heritability of seven musical abilities: (1) intelligence (ease in understanding theory and abstract concepts), (2) auditory abilities (musical ear), (3 ) motor dexterity, (4) rhythm, (5) auditory memory (memorizing melodies), (6) motor memory (memorizing fingering), and (7) musicality. The results revealed very large individual differences in viewpoints, ranging from complete denial of any genetic underpinning for these abilities to beliefs in a strong genetic component for all of them. Still, only a small minority denied any genetic basis for musical aptitudes. On average, all seven abilities were perceived as having a significant but modest genetic component. Auditory abilities (musical ear) and rhythm were judged significantly more heritable than the five other abilities proposed. Significant role and culture effects were found, with students and French Quebecers showing more environmentalist beliefs. Together, these two effects accounted for only 6% of the between-subjects variance. No other sociodemographic or professional variables accounted for any significant amount of the variation observed.

There is also much controversy in the scientific literature concerning which factors make a difference between becoming an average musician as opposed to attaining talented-level performance. To assess lay beliefs about the ranking of determinants of excellence, the participants completed a forced-choice questionnaire assessing the perceived most and least important causes of the difference in talent between high achieving and more average young musicians. Two distinct situations were proposed: comparing best vs. worst young beginning music students, and comparing very good vs. exceptional advanced (high school age) students. Three results stand out: (a) very large individual differences in terms of the perceived hierarchy of causal factors, which (b) still leave room for clear general trends shared by a majority; (c) These trends appear mostly independent of the talent level or the respondents' characteristics. Musical aptitudes were ranked first, followed by perseverance, amount of practice, interest (love of music), and personality traits. Environmental influences (e.g. home musical environment, parental support and supervision, music teacher) and chance factors received low rankings. The only significant group differences observed slightly opposed educators and students, and slightly discriminated between the two comparison situations. Both approaches to the assessment of musician's beliefs confirm the perceived significant role of musical giftedness, with its genetic basis, as a major determinant of talent emergence. Only a minority of these musicians, both educators and students, seem to endorse the environmentalist credo with its denial of individual differences in "natural" talent.


Ralf Th. Krampe (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin)

Lifespan Development of Musical Skills: The Expertise Approach

Two basic assumptions form the starting point of my considerations:

Observable behavior and mental processes, including highly specific cognitive-motor functions, have a neural counterpart. That means: the brains of concert pianists differ from those of amateur musicians in decisive ways.

A considerable proportion of the inter-individual differences in general cognitive-motor functionality can be traced back to variance in innate dispositions. Robert Plomin and his co-workers have impressively demonstrated that about 50% of the interindividual differences in general intelligence can be explained by genetic variation (Plomin 1994).

The aim of my lecture is to show that an explanation of stable inter-individual differences in musical ability does not require recourse to concepts such as innate talent. As a theoretical alternative, I will use the approach developed by Ericsson, Krampe & Tesch-Römer (1993) for the role of targeted exercise (deliberate practice) for developing expertise. Similar to certain models from the developmental psychology of the life span (Freund, Li & Baltes 1999), the deliberate practice approach conceives the acquisition and maintenance of skills under the aspect of individual adaptation (adaptation) to internal (processing) and external (task domain) Boundary conditions (constraints). At the center of the expertise approach is the assumption that special skills are based on domain-specific, cognitive mechanisms that are acquired through long-term, targeted practice.I will present results from research into musical proficiency to illustrate three main aspects:

The skill level cannot be predicted from inter-individual differences, which (demonstrably) go back to innate inter-individual differences.

However, the skill level correlates with inter-individual differences in the extent of targeted practice and this applies to different phases of life.

Developmental changes in musical ability are the result of changes in individual life goals and the associated changes in the level of practice. These changes cannot be explained by a pure talent approach.

In summary, the development of musical expertise can be thought of as a long-distance run in which internal and external constraints create opportunities and challenges. The observed exercise intensity is an expression of the individual efforts to adapt to these boundary conditions. Contrary to popular assumptions, the role of innate, inter-individual differences is likely to increase the further we move away from "normal" behavior in our consideration. In nature, genetic blueprints have an adaptive function when it comes to the survival of a mayfly. At the same time, an extremely high mutation rate ensures that the species as such does not become extinct. In humans, on the other hand, the principle of the so-called soft constraints (Elman et al. 1996). Immense inter-individual (genetic) variability and extensive ontogenesis are the basis on which - albeit rarely - individuals like Vladimir Horovitz, Miles Davis, or Stephen Hawkins can develop.

 

Ralf Th. Krampe (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin)

The Development Of Musical Performance Skills Across The Life-Span: The Expertise Perspective

My presentation starts from two basic assumptions. First, observable behavior and mental processes, including highly specific cognitive-motor functions have a neural substrate; that is to say, concert pianists ’brains differ from those of amateurs in important respects. Second, a considerable portion of inter-individual differences in general cognitive-motor functions are related to innate dispositions. Robert Plomin and his colleagues have convincingly shown that roughly 50% of individual differences in general intelligence can be accounted for by genetic variance (Plomin 1994).

The goal of my talk is to show that the explanation of stable inter-individual differences in skilled (musical) performance does not require the assumption of innate gifts and talents. As an alternative, I will describe the deliberate practice framework for the development of real-life expertise (Ericsson, Krampe & Tesch-Römer 1993). Similar to extant models in life-span developmental psychology (Freund, Li & Baltes, 1999) the deliberate practice framework portrays the acquisition and maintenance of skills as long-term adaptations to internal (processing) and external (task) constraints. At the core of the expertise perspective is the notion that skilled performance relies on domain-specific processing mechanisms that are acquired through long-term deliberate practice efforts. I will summarize findings from the domain of musical performance to illustrate three major claims:

level of expertise is not predictable from inter-individual differences that reflect (demonstrably) innate capacities

Level of expertise can be predicted from interindividual differences in deliberate practice efforts at different stages of musical development

developmental changes in musical performance reflect changes in life goals and concurrent changes in practice intensity. These changes cannot be explained by differences in musical talent as such.

The core of my argument is that the development of expertise is a long-distance race along the course of internal and external constraints. Deliberate practice intensity reflects an individual’s efforts to adapt to these constraints. Contrary to popular belief, the role of innate factors may decrease the further we move away from "normal" behavior. Hardwired genetic blueprints are adaptive in guaranteeing a fruit-fly's survival for a day; rapid mutation guarantees that the species persists. Soft constraints (Elman et al. 1996), tremendous genetic variability, and individuals ’adaptive plasticity during ontogenesis are mankind’s platform that, once in a while, gives produces a Vladimir Horovitz, a Miles Davis, or a Stephen Hawkins.

 

References

Elman, J. L .; Bates, E. A .; Johnson, M. H .; Karmiloff-Smith, A .; Parisi, D. & Plunkett, K. (1996). Rethinking innateness. A connection is perspective on development. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Ericsson, K. A .; Krampe, R. T. & Tesch-Römer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review 100, 363—406.

Freund, A. M .; Li, KZH & Baltes, P.B. (1999). Successful development and aging: The role of selection, optimization, and compensation. In: J. Brandtstaedter & R. M. Lerner (Eds.) Action & self-development; Theory and research through the life span (pp. 401-434). Thousand Oaks, CA, US: Sage Publications, Inc.

Plomin, R. (1994). Genetics and experience: The interplay between nature and nurture. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


Adam Ockelford (Royal National Institute for the Blind, London, United Kingdom)

Savant Syndrome or Syndromes?

Case studies of young people who are blind and have severe learning difficulties

The psychological literature of the 20th century has been sporadically influenced by reports of people having a specific skill or ability in the broader context of learning disabilities.

Ever since Down's description of such individuals as 'idiots savants' and Treffert's subsequent renaming as 'those with savant syndrome' (1988), it has been implied that such individuals form a discrete group, although it was recognized from the outset that the domain, in which the savants stood out, could be different, extending, for example, from calendar calculations to hyperlexia and from the visual arts to music. The notion that savants somehow represent a "category of people" of their own was confirmed by early studies (e.g. Anastasi & Levee 1960; Viscott 1970) which tended to be anecdotal and focused on individual cases.

Although recent studies (e.g. Sloboda, Hermelin & O'Connor, 1985; Charness, Clifton & MacDonald 1988; Young & Nettlebeck 1995) chose a more rigorous research methodology - often in the context of competing intelligence theories - and examined small groups of subjects (e.g. eight people in the Miller case 1995; five in the case of Ermine, O'Connor & Lee 1987), the general view still persists that (musical) savants are in some ways a separate group.

While some researchers have doubted the validity of this assumption (e.g. Barnes & Earnshaw 1995), no systematic attempt has been made to date to collect all data on such persons with disabilities and exceptional musical abilities (summaries such as Judd's 1988 regardless) and to analyze whether they actually constitute a coherent group.

This paper provides informal evidence - a series of brief case studies - that people currently classified as "musical savants" are actually an inconsistent group whose abilities (musical and otherwise) differ along a number of continuums.

While it may be useful in many contexts (such as investing in educational supplies) to continue to use concepts and labels such as 'Savant Syndrome', from the perspective of future research, a more developed taxonomy of those who do combine special skills with disabilities, embody the most profitable way forward.

 

Adam Ockelford (Royal National Institute for the Blind, London, United Kingdom)

Savant Syndrome Or Syndromes?

Case Studies From Young People Who Are Blind And Have Severe Learning Difficulties

The psychological literature of the 20thth century is colored sporadically with accounts of people who have a special ability or abilities in the broader context of learning difficulties.

Ever since Down’s description of such individuals as idiots savants ’(1887) and Treffert’s subsequent re-designation as‘ those with savant syndrome'(1988), there has been the implication that such people form a discrete group, although it was recognized from the outset that the domain in which savants excelled could vary, ranging, for example, from calendrical calculation to hyperlexia, and from the visual arts to music. The notion that musical savants somehow constitute a distinct category of person ’was reinforced by early studies (for example, Anastasi & Levee 1960; Viscott 1970), which tended to be anecdotal, and focused on individual cases.

Although more recent studies (for example, Sloboda, Hermelin & O'Connor, 1985; Charness, Clifton & MacDonald 1988; Young & Nettlebeck 1995) have adopted a more rigorous research methodology - often in the context of competing theories of intelligence - and have examined small groups of subjects (for example, eight in the case of Miller 1995; five in the case of Hermelin, O'Connor & Lee 1987), in general the view has persisted that (musical) savants in some way make up a distinct group.

For sure, some have questioned the validity of this assumption (for example, Barnes & Earnshaw 1995), but to date no systematic attempt has been made to bring together all the data on those with disabilities and exceptional musical abilities (summaries such as that by Judd 1988, for example, notwithstanding) and to analyze whether they do indeed constitute a coherent set.

This paper presents informal evidence - a series of brief case studies - that those currently categorized as ‘musical savants’ actually form a diverse group, whose abilities (musical and otherwise) vary along a number of continua.

Hence, while it may be useful in a number of contexts (such as funding for educational provision) to continue to use concepts and labels such as 'savant syndrome', from the point of view of future research, a more developed taxonomy of those who combine special abilities and disabilities may represent the most profitable way forward.


Harald Jørgensen (Norges Musikkhøgskole, Oslo, Norway)

Who is the expert in practicing an instrument?

An empirical exposition and theoretical discussion of the expertise in instrumental practice by conservatory students

For an instrumental student, practicing the musical instrument is essential for advancement. For the past ten years I have been trying to gather information about how students at a conservatoire practice on their instruments. These are high proficiency students and should be experts in both their instrumental performance and their practice. However, it could also be that this relationship does not represent a simple relationship. For example, is it possible to be an expert on instrumental performance even if you are not an over-expert? And: Are there certain practice behaviors that characterize a practice expert?

Questions like these of course depend on what we mean by "expertise" in these two areas, the area of ​​instrumental performance and the area of ​​instrumental practice. In the present study, students were (mainly) assigned three levels of expertise in instrumental performance, measured as a grade for instrumental performance, which was awarded by a jury and based on an exam concert. This is the conventional type of foreplay that requires sheet music rehearsal and memorization.

The exercise behavior examined in research encompasses a wide range of task and person-oriented strategies (see Hallam 1997). The practice behaviors reported in this paper are the time students spend on practice activities, the metacognitive activities used when planning an exercise, and the coordination of these practice hours with other study tasks. My research question is: Do students with different levels of expertise in foreplay differ in terms of these practice behaviors?

The empirical results will be discussed with reference to research and theories on foreplay and over-expertise. For the foreplay I was able to identify three competing main theories that describe the typical features of this expertise and explain how it develops. The first is the theory of Ericsson, Krampe & Tesch-Römer (1993), a conception based on cognitive theory, in which the relationship between foreplay expertise and targeted practice (deliberate practice) is the central theme. The second is the general model of expertise by Dreyfus & Dreyfus (1986), in which the most important characteristics of an expert are his or her intuitive responses, rather than problem solving or deliberate reasoning. The third is Donald Schön's (1983; 1987) reflective practitioner theory, a theory that also emphasizes the social context of expertise development and manifestation. Discussions between the concept of expertise and that of talent should also be considered (see, for example, Gembris 1998 and Lehmann 1998).

 

Harald Jørgensen (Norges Musikkhøgskole, Oslo, Norway)

Who Is The Expert In Instrumental Practice?

An Empirical Presentation And Theoretical Discussion Of Expertise In Conservatory Students ’Instrumental Practice

For a student on a musical instrument, practicing on the instrument is vital for progress. For the last ten years, I have tried to get information about how students in a music academy practice on their instruments. These are students on a high performance level, and they ought to be experts both in their instrumental performance and in their practicing behavior. But maybe that this relationship is not a straightforward relationship. Is it possible, for instance, to be an expert performer on an instrument even if one is not an expert practitioner? And are there certain practice behaviors that identify an expert practitioner?

Questions like these depend, of course, on what we mean with "expertise" in these two domains, the domain of instrumental performance and the domain of instrumental practice. In this study, students are allocated to (mainly) three levels of instrumental performance expertise, measured as an instrumental performance grade given by a panel of judges and based on an examination concert. This is the conventional type of performance, requiring rehearsal of notated music and performance from memory.

Research in practice behavior covers a wide range of task-oriented and person-oriented strategies (see Hallam 1997). The practice behaviors reported in this paper are the students ’allocation of time to practicing activities, and the metacognitive activity they engage in when they plan their practice sessions and co-ordinate practice sessions with other study tasks. My research question is: do students at different levels of performance expertise differ in these practice behaviors?

The empirical results will be discussed in relation to research and theories on expertise in performance and practicing. For performance, I have identified three major competing theories on the characteristics of expertise and how expertise evolves. The first is the theory presented by Ericsson, Krampe & Tesch-Römer (1993), a conception based on cognitive theory, where the relationship between performance expertise and deliberate practice is a central theme. The second is Dreyfus & Dreyfus ’general model of expertise (1986), where the most important characteristic of an expert is his or her intuitive reactions, not problem-solving and deliberate considerations.The third is Donald Schön’s theory of the reflective practitioner (1983; 1987), a theory that also emphasize the social context of expertise development and manifestations. Discussions of expertise versus talent will also be considered (see, for instance, Gembris 1998 and Lehmann 1998).

 

Selected references

Dreyfus, H. & Dreyfus, S. (1986). Mind over machine. New York: Free press.

Ericsson, K.A., Krampe, R.T. & Tesch-Römer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review 100 (3), 363—406.

Gembris, H. (1998). Critical comments on the expertise concept. In: H. Gembris; R.-D. Kraemer & G. Maas (Eds.) Music educational research reports 1997 (pp. 111-123), Augsburg :: Wißner.

Hallam, S. (1997). What do we know about practicing? Towards a model synthesizing the research literature. In: H. Jørgensen & A. C. Lehmann (Eds.) Does practice make perfect? Current theory and research on instrumental music practice (pp. 179-231). NMH-publikasjoner 1997: 1. Oslo: Norges musikkhøgskole.

Lehmann, A. C. (1998). Expertise research as an alternative contribution to traditional musicality research. In: H. Gembris; R.-D. Kraemer & G. Maas (Eds.) Music educational research reports 1997 (pp. 124-146), Augsburg :: Wißner.

Schoen, D.A. (1983). The reflective practitioner. How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books.

Schoen, D.A. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner. San Francisco: Jossey bass.


Daniel Steinwede, R. Rottbeck, O. Busse, C. Kohlmetz, Thomas F. Münte, Maria Schuppert & Eckart Altenmüller

(Institute for Music Physiology and Musicians Medicine Hanover / Neurological Clinic of the Municipal Clinic Minden / Hanover Medical School)

Expressive and receptive amusia after stroke: a neuropsychological investigation

Little is known about the neuronal processing involved in expressive and receptive music functions. In a previous study (Schuppert et al. 2000) it could be shown that receptive amusias occur in about 69 percent of stroke patients. This neuropsychological work was undertaken particularly with a view to expanding the amusia test to include expressive performance and functions.

Thirty patients with a unilateral stroke were tested for their receptive and expressive musical functions with the newly developed amusia test.

The expressive part of the test consisted of playing back audio samples that had been heard twice before. The examples included a) melody, b) interval, and c) rhythm. Both the expressive and the receptive part were always provided with 18 tasks.

Patients and controls played melodies and intervals on a 6-key carillon and tapped the rhythms on a wooden board.

The reproduced music samples were recorded with a data recorder and played to two independent experts for evaluation.

The receptive functions were checked using five different tests, the first four of which were based on a discrimination design:

Pitch: In a discrimination design, the patient and test person should decide whether two tones were the same or different (small or large second) high. The possible answers were "equal" and "unequal". This response pattern also applied to the following tests of melody and rhythm.

Melody - interval and contour: A melody of 4 bars in length was repeated, whereby a change of one tone could take place during the repetition. This was either modified in its interval to the following note while maintaining the melodic line, or it influenced the melody by changing the contour. Half of the melodies were in 2/4- or in 3/4-Tact.

Rhythm: A rhythm of 4 bars in length was repeated, whereby a change in one bar could take place during the repetition. The rhythms were divided into equal 2/4- or 3/4-Tact.

Meter: A melody 4 bars long was repeated without a pause. It was either a march (2/4Bar) or a waltz (3/4Clock). Here the test person had to choose between these two options.

Recognition of German folk songs: 5 old German folk songs were played, with the respondent being asked to name the title if possible.

Compared to the control group, the patient group was significantly worse in receptive and expressive musical functions. In the expressive part, a pronounced reduction in performance could be demonstrated in all areas, which was particularly evident after the left hemispheric lesions, which were associated with speech production disorders. Only the meter task was not impaired in the receptive test.

We conclude that expressive musical skills are coupled to left hemispheric and language productive functions to a much greater extent than previously assumed in the literature.

The singular receipt of the meter recognition could come about due to a multiple and more complex representation of such time structures in the respective hemispheres.

 

Daniel Steinwede, R. Rottbeck, O. Busse, C. Kohlmetz, Thomas F. Münte, Maria Schuppert & Eckart Altenmüller

(Institute for Music Physiology and Musicians Medicine Hanover / Neurological Clinic of the Minden City Hospital / Hanover Medical School)

Expressive And Receptive Amusia In Patients With Hemispheric Stroke

Little is known concerning neuronal networks involved in expressive and receptive musical functions. In a previous study (Schuppert et al. 2000) we were able to demonstrate that receptive amusia is a frequent symptom in brain-damaged patients. The present neuropsychological study was undertaken to extend the investigation on expressive musical functions.

Thirty patients suffering from unilateral stroke were tested for expressive and receptive musical functions using a newly developed test battery.

The test for expressive function required active replay of previously twice presented a) melodies, b) intervals and c) rhythms. Patients and controls had to play on a glockenspiel or had to tap short rhythmic trails. The parts played were recorded and rated by two independent experts.

The receptive part of the test contained five different tests (with each 18 stimuli), four of them designed as a forced choice discrimination paradigm:

Discrimination of pitch: A target tone was followed by a comparison tone, which was either a major or a minor second apart or which remained the same. Patients and controls had to respond "same" or "different".

Discrimination of interval and contour: A target melody of four bars ’duration was followed by a rest of two bars and then a comparison melody, in which either one tone was changed or remained unchanged.

Discrimination of rhythm: A target rhythm of four bars ’duration played on one note (g) was followed by a rest of two bars and then a comparison rhythm, in which either one bar was changed or remained unchanged.

Discrimination of meter: A melody of four bars ’duration was presented twice without a rest in between. It was either a march (2/4 meter) or a waltz (3/4 meter) and subjects had to discriminate between these two types of meter.

Recognition of five familiar song melodies: The subjects had to recognize five German nursery melodies with their title, or at least as known or unknown.

Patients performed significantly worse in both the expressive and the receptive test, compared to controls. A general impairment in the expressive test was more frequently associated with left hemispheric lesions and with deficits in language production. In the receptive part only the meter task was not impaired.

We conclude that expressive musical capabilities are to a greater extent linked to left hemisphere and to language function as reported in the literature. The selective preservation of meter recognition may be due to multiple representations of this perceptive task in either hemisphere.


Jan Hemming (University of Bremen)

"Musical talent" from the point of view of "cultural studies"

Compared to traditional critical theory, the approach includes the Cultural studies significantly changed dimensions of cultural criticism, on the one hand from the method of Discourse analysis and the analytical philosophy of language emerge and on the other hand through the strong orientation of the Cultural studies devoted to everyday culture. Both points should be taken up and further developed in an argument in which it is examined to what extent it makes sense and is possible to use the term talent to detach from the areas of traditional music practice and z. B. to be transferred to jazz, rock and pop. So the starting point is not an abstract definition of talent, but an analysis of the use of this term in scientific, but also in everyday contexts. That way you can talent must first be identified as an essentialist term. The resulting problematic political implications are usually countered by focusing primarily on environmental influences rather than innate predispositions. This constellation can also be used in another subject area of ​​the Cultural studies, the Gender studies can be observed, whose basic premise is a distinction between biological sex. sex) and the gender gender) consists. Here, too, the term is restricted to the latter area, and it was only the work of Judith Butler that made it possible to turn back to the biological sex. Judith Butler argues that even biological and physical realities should not be viewed as givens. B. a gender identity as a result of repetitive performative practices. This theoretical approach is related to the perspective of analytical language philosophy and pragmatism, from which Wolfgang Detel supplements the meaning-theoretical argument that it is necessary and sensible to use biological sex as a reference object and the associated terms Mrs and man to hold on. A critical handling of essentialist terms is made possible in Detel's conception by the fact that the problematic terms are largely semantically emptied and only fill with content again in the concrete cultural contexts. Accordingly, there are none Mrs or none Man to himself and there are only no consequences that could be deduced from it Women and Men in specific cultural contexts.

This idea can come on talent can be transferred as a concept and as a concept. Consequently should talent should not only be included in scientific investigations because it is firmly anchored in everyday language and everyday ideas or because there is apparently a consensus among a considerable number of researchers that it makes sense to study the subject talent to deal with. It can for talent can also be argued as a necessary reference object without it being impossible to speak in a meaningful way of individual differences and their causes. This is precisely where the advantage of critical talent research over expertise research, which does not offer an explanation for the question of why all people learn differently. By having a semantically emptied concept of talent only fills with salary in specific cultural contexts, the question "Talent - what for?" a central importance. Accordingly, the scientific use of the term should in future no longer be measured against abstract criteria of validity, but rather according to the degree to which they lead to a talent appropriate cultural values ​​are also reflected.

 

Jan Hemming (University of Bremen)

"Musical talent" -

A Cultural Studies Perspective

This paper addresses the German term talent from the perspective of cultural studies. There is no direct translation for talent, its meaning is situated in between the English terms giftedness and talent. As opposed to traditional critical theory, cultural studies offer substantially altered dimensions of cultural critique. On the one hand, these results from taking into account the methodologies of discursive analysis and the analytical philosophy of language, on the other hand, much of cultural theory is derived from popular and everyday culture. Both threads of thought shall be taken up and further developed in this paper to address the question, whether it is possible and whether it makes sense to separate talent from the realm of traditional (classical) music and to speak of talent e. G. for jazz, rock and pop. Therefore, the argumentation does not set out with an abstract definition of talent, but with analyzing the usage of the term in academic and also in everyday circumstances. At first, talent can be identified as an essentialist notion. The problematic political implications resulting from this fact usually lead researchers to focus on the effects of socialization instead of studying innate gifts. This constellation can also be observed in another domain of cultural studies, Gender studies, where the distinction between (biological) sex and (social) gender is one of the basic premises. The notion of Gender studies already indicates the restriction on the social elements, and it was only through the work of Judith Butler that it became possible to address the issue of biological sex too. Judith Butler argues that even biological and physical realities ca not be taken for granted; instead, e. G. a sexual identity is the result of continuous performative actions. This theoretical approach is related to the analytical philosophy of language and to pragmatism, and from this perspective, Wolfgang Detel argues for the theoretical significance of the conception of biological sex and the corresponding terms woman other man which are necessary objects of reference. A critical usage of essentialist terms is made possible by what Detel calls semantically emptying these terms. It is only by their application in actual cultural contexts that the terms regain their meaning. Therefore, there is no woman or no man as such, and no consequences that could be derived from these facts alone, there are only women or men in actual cultural contexts.

This idea can also be applied to the notion and the concept of talent. Correspondingly, talent should not be addressed by academic research simply because it is part of our everyday language and imagination, or even because a significant number of researchers obviously agree on the fact that it makes sense to examine talent. It can be argued that talent is a necessary object of reference, without which it is not possible to speak of individual differences and their possible roots. This is the major advantage of critical research on talent instead of expertise research, which has no explanation for the fact that all humans are different in their learning. However, a semantically emptied notion of talent that only gets filled with meaning in actual cultural contexts hints at the fact that the question "talent - what for?" becomes crucial in this concept. Therefore, future applications of the term talent in contexts of academic research should not be rated by abstract criteria of validity, but by the degree to which the underlying cultural values ​​are also part of the inquiry.

References

Butler, J. (1995). Body of weight. The discursive borders of gender, Berlin: Berlin Verlag.

Detel, W. (1997). A little "sex" is a must. On the problem of reference to the sexes. German magazine for philosophy45, 63—98.


Françoys Gagné (Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada)

A Differentiated Model Of Giftedness And Talent (DMGT)

(personal notes)

Gagné’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT) proposes a clear distinction between the two most basic concepts in the field of gifted education.

GIFTEDNESS designates the possession and use of untrained and spontaneously expressed superior natural abilities (called aptitudes or gifts), in at least one ability domain, to a degree that places an individual at least among the top 10% of his or her age peers.

TALENT designates the superior mastery of systematically developed abilities (or skills) and knowledge in at least one field of human activity to a degree that places an individual within at least the upper 10% of age peers who are or have been active in that field or fields.

GIFTS (G)

The DMGT proposes four aptitude domains (see Figure 1): intellectual (IG), creative (CG), socioaffective (SG), and sensorimotor (MG). These natural abilities, whose development and level of expression is partially controlled by the individual's genetic endowment, can be observed in every task children are confronted with in the course of their schooling: for instance, the intellectual abilities needed to learn to read, speak a foreign language, or understand new mathematical concepts, the creative abilities needed to solve many different kinds of problems and produce original work in science, literature and art, the physical abilities involved in sport, music or woodwork, or the social abilities that children use daily in interactions with classmates, teachers, and parents.

High aptitudes or gifts can be observed more easily and directly in young children because environmental influences and systematic learning have exerted their moderating influence in a limited way only. However, they still show themselves in older children and even in adults through the facility and speed with which individuals acquire new skills in any given field of human activity. The easier or faster the learning process, the greater the natural abilities. It is these high natural abilities that some laypersons call "talent" or, more appropriately, "natural talent".

TALENTS (T)

As defined in the DMGT, talents progressively emerge from the transformation of these high aptitudes into the well-trained and systematically developed skills characteristic of a particular field of human activity or performance. These fields can be extremely diverse. Figure 1 shows some of the many talent fields relevant to school-aged youth. A given natural ability can express itself in many different ways, depending on the field of activity adopted by the individual. For example, manual dexterity, as a natural physical ability, can be modeled into the particular skills of a pianist, a painter, or a video-game player. Similarly, intelligence as a natural ability can be modeled into the scientific reasoning of a chemist, the game analysis of a chess player, or the strategic planning of an athlete.

DEVELOPMENTAL PROCESS (LP)

In this model, natural abilities or aptitudes act as the "raw material" or the constituent elements of talents. It follows from this relationship that talent necessarily implies the presence of well above average natural abilities; one cannot be talented without first being gifted. The reverse is not true, however. It is possible for well above average natural abilities to remain simply as gifts, and not to be translated into talents, as is witnessed by the well-known phenomenon of academic underachievement among intellectually gifted children. The process of talent development manifests itself when the child or adolescent engages in systematic learning and practicing; the higher the level of talent sought, the more intensive these three activities will be.

INTRAPERSONAL CATALYSTS (LP)

This process is facilitated (or hindered) by the action of two types of catalysts; intrapersonal other environmental. The intrapersonal catalysts are subdivided into physical and psychological factors, all of them under the partial influence of the genetic endowment. Among the psychological catalysts, motivation and volition play a crucial role in initiating the process of talent development, guiding it and sustaining it through obstacles, boredom, and occasional failure. Self-management gives structure and efficiency to the talent development process, and to other daily activities. Hereditary predispositions to behave in certain ways (temperament), as well as acquired styles of behavior (e.g., traits and disorders), also contribute significantly to support and stimulate, or slow down and even block, talent development.

ENVIRONMENTAL CATALYSTS (EC)

The environment manifests its significant impact in many different ways. The milieu exerts its influence both at a macroscopic level (e. g., geographic, demographic, sociological) and in a more microscopic framework (size of family, personality and parenting style of caregivers, socioeconomic status, and so forth). Many different persons, not only parents and teachers but also siblings and peers, may exert positive or negative influence on the process of talent development. Gifted education programs within or outside the school belong to the category of provisions; they are a more systematic form of intervention to foster or hinder the process of talent development. Finally, significant events (the death of a parent, winning a prize or award, suffering a major accident or illness) can influence markedly the course of talent development.

CHANCE (CH)

Chance could be added as a fifth causal factor associated with the environment; but, strictly speaking, it is a characteristic of some of the elements placed in any of the other four categories (eg, the "chance" of being born in a particular family; the "chance" of the school in which the child is enrolled deciding to develop a program for gifted / talented students). Chance is also a major causal factor in the determination of the genetic endowment.

PREVALENCE AND LEVELS

Any definition of normative concepts must specify how subjects differ from the norm and what it means in terms of the prevalence of the population subsumed under the label. In the DMGT, the threshold for both the giftedness and talent concepts is placed at the 90th percentile (approximately 1.3 standard deviations above the mean). In other words, those who belong to approximately the top 10% of the relevant reference group in terms of natural ability (for giftedness) or achievement (for talent) may receive the relevant label.

This generous choice of threshold is counterbalanced by a recognition of levels or degrees of giftedness or talent. These comprise five groups. Within the top 10% of "mildly" gifted or talented persons, the DMGT recognizes four progressively more selective subgroups. They are labeled "moderately" (top 1%), "highly" (top 1: 1,000), "exceptionally" (top 1: 10,000), and "extremely" (top 1: 100,000). As in other fields of special education, the nature of the intervention program that a school develops for gifted or talented students should be influenced by the level of the student’s giftedness or talent as well as the domains or fields in which it is sited.

 

Suggested readings

Gagné, F. (1985). Giftedness and talent: Reexamining a reexamination of the definitions. Gifted Child Quarterly 29, 103—112.

Gagné, F. (1993). Constructs and models pertaining to exceptional human abilities. In K. A. Heller, F. J. Mönks & A. H. Passow (Eds.) International Handbook of Research and Development of Giftedness and Talent (pp. 63-85). Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Gagné, F. (1995). From giftedness to talent: A developmental model and its impact on the language of the field. Roeper Review 18, 103—111.

Gagné, F. (1998). A proposal for subcategories within the gifted or talented populations. Gifted Child Quarterly 42, 87—95.

Gagné, F. (1999a). Is There Any Light at the End of the Tunnel? Journal for the Education of the Gifted 22, 191—234

Gagné, F. (1999b). My convictions about the nature of human abilities, gifts and talents. Journal for the Education of the Gifted 22, 109—136.


Wilfried Gruhn, Andrea Krimm & Catherine Hapke (Freiburg University of Music)

The development of musical talent from the perspective of learning biology and developmental psychology

Results of a long-term study on the musical learning of young children

As part of a long-term study on the structure of musical representations, three groups of toddlers aged 0/7 to 4/9 years / months (1st N= 18; 2. N= 20; 3. N= 12) observed in their behavior within a given musical setting and with a control group (N= 9) compared. Methodologically, this is a qualitative as well as quantitative behavioral study. The musical setting consisted of the provision of an informal musical learning environment in which rhythmic and melodic units of changing tonal and metric structure were presented. The methodological approach was based on neurobiological studies on learning to play music.

The data was collected on the basis of weekly video recordings made by two independent observers (interpersonal reliability r= 0.887) were evaluated on the basis of criteria-based observation protocols with a total of 58 scales for the fields of attention, movement, imitation, audiation, improvisation and creativity. These observations were supplemented by regular parent reports based on a structured questionnaire, diary entries and, if the age is appropriate, a standardized one music aptitude-Test (Gordon: Audie).

The evaluation of the data resulted in a clearly recognizable sequential sequence of learning stages, which is essentially the structure of the preparatory audiation Gordons confirmed, with a highly significant correlation between the areas of movement (movement flow, movement coordination) and voice (accuracy of the vocal reproduction of melodic r= 0.91 and rhythmic r= 0.82 patterns). Based on the observation of early childhood learning, questions should be asked about the development and promotion of musical talent and its pedagogical realization.

 

Wilfried Gruhn, Andrea Krimm & Catherine Hapke (Freiburg University of Music)

Developmental Music Aptitude From A Neurobiological And Developmental Perspective

In a long-term study on the development of mental representations in music, three groups of small children (age 1 to 5) were observed with respect to their behavior in a given musical setting, and were compared to control children of the same age from a nursery school. Methods from quantitative and qualitative research were applied. The musical setting focused on informal musical guidance; here, the children were exposed to many rhythm and tonal patterns of various tonal and metric modalities.

Data was collected by two independent judges (interjudge reliability r = .887) based on video observation using a criterion-based observation form consisting of 58 scales referring to the criteria: attention, movement, imitation, audiation, improvisation, and creativity. Additionally, data was collected from parents ’reports and diaries and - wherever possible - from standardized tests (Gordon: Audie).

The data shows a clear, sequential order of stages according to Gordon's learning theory during preparatory audiation, which in general could be confirmed. With respect to the expected interaction between the different criteria, a highly significant correlation was exhibited only for movement (flow of movement; synchronization) and voice production (pitch accuracy and rhythmic stability). In light of these findings, questions of the development and promotion of music aptitude will be raised.


Claudia Bullerjahn & Annette Zängle (University of Hildesheim)

Musical career and creative process among young songwriters and composers in the popular field

Theoretical background: The musical careers of songwriters and the creative process of rock music have so far rarely been the focus of research. Weisberg (1999) only recently started by showing the typical process for acquiring artistic expertise using the example of the Beatles' song production. Their exposure, however, gives the results an exemplary character. Own research results on young composers in the field of art music deal with their motivation and creative process (Bullerjahn, Graebsch & Niemann 1998, Bullerjahn & Graebsch 1999). These and earlier studies (e.g. Bahle 1947 and Simonton 1996) make it clear that the prerequisites for the creation of compositions are domain-specific skills and targeted preparatory work that runs in several phases.

Objectives: The musical careers and motivational foundations of young composers in the popular field as well as their brainstorming and working methods are examined in an exploratory manner.

Method: 61 participants from the final rounds of three rock music competitions (FFN-Local Heroes 1998, Students make songs 1998 and John Lennon Talent Award 1999) took part in the investigation. The majority of the subjects answered a questionnaire, which included Questions about the musical development, the creative process and the motivation of the composer included. An excerpt from the Freiburg personality inventory (Fahrenberg, Hampel & Selg 1989) included. In addition, 17 problem-centered interviews were conducted with the songwriters of the John Lennon Talent Awards, which also focused on the band work. The evaluation of the qualitative data was carried out with winMAX supported.

Results: The songwriters in our sample, with an average of 15 years, turn to composing much later than we know from the classical field. Apart from stylistic exceptions, by this point in time they had already grappled with an instrument for two to three years. In addition to a high level of intrinsic motivation, identification with the band and their advancement are the driving forces behind composing.

When creating and implementing rock music ideas, the individual members of a band are involved in very different ways. In extreme cases, there are songwriters who - in the classic sense - only need their band to interpret their fully worked out arrangements, and bands whose pieces of music are created solely in jam sessions. The most common case, however, is that one or two band members provide the creative concept and the arrangement is done with the help of the other. The songwriter acts as a coach who evaluates and integrates all ideas. Although the need to communicate has a very high priority for the songwriters, there is rarely a finished text at the beginning of the creative process, but rather musical ideas. Within the creative process, phases corresponding to the theory can be identified, which, however, are person-specific. The process cannot be described as a linear sequence of these phases either, since it is often erratic or circular.

Conclusions: Intrinsic motivation and "deliberate practice" play an important role for young composers regardless of genre. In contrast, different careers emerge for which domain-specific explanations are available (learned musical instrument, individual vs. group). The rock music arrangement is primarily created in exchange and in cooperation with the band collective. The empirical access to the actual generation of ideas with the help of self-statements remains problematic, as it depends heavily on the respondent's level of reflection. Other methodological approaches based on the remote experiments by Bahle (e.g. recording current trains of thought when composing on a dictation machine) could offer possible solutions.

 

Claudia Bullerjahn & Annette Zängle (University of Hildesheim)

The Creative And Developmental Process Of Young Songwriters And Composers In The Popular Domain

Theoretical background: The musical development of songwriters and the creative process of rock musicians have until now rarely been the focus of research. Weisberg (1999) was the first to tackle this topic when he described the acquisition of artistic expertise and its typical path by analyzing the song production of the Beatles. The Beatles' profile certainly lend the results an exemplary character. Some of our own research results on young composers in the artistic music domain deal with their motivation and creative processes. (Bullerjahn, Graebsch & Niemann 1998, Bullerjahn & Graebsch 1999).These and earlier studies (e.g. Bahle 1947 and Simonton 1996) make it clear that domain specific skills and deliberate preliminary work carried out in many stages are needed in order to compose music.

Aims: The musical development and motivation of young composers of popular music, along with their inspiration and work methods are explored in this study.

Method: 61 competitors from the final rounds of three German rock music competitions (FFN-Local Heroes 1998, Students make songs 1998 and John Lennon Talent Award 1999) took part in the study. The majority of the participants filled out a questionnaire, which included questions on musical development, the creative process and the composers ’motivation, amongst others. An extract was also taken from the Freiburg personality inventory (Fahrenberg, Hampel & Selg 1989). On top of this, 17 problem-centered interviews were carried out with the songwriters from the John Lennon Talent Awards, which clarified the bands ’work further. The qualitative data was evaluated with the help of winMAX.

Results: The songwriters in our survey began composing on average at the age of 15, which is much later than what we know to be average for the classical domain. Apart from a few stylistically limited exceptions, they have between two and three years ’experience with their instruments when starting to compose. Identification with the band and its progress, along with a high intrinsic motivation level, are the driving forces behind composing songs.

The individual members of a band are involved in creating and transposing rock music ideas in very different ways. It is rare to find songwriters who only use their bands to perform complete arrangements, as was the case in classical music. Bands whose musical pieces are only created in jam sessions are also rare. The most common situation is where one or two band members supply the creative concepts, and the others help to arrange them. In this sense, the songwriter functions as a kind of coach who integrates and evaluates the ideas. Although the songwriter’s need to communicate has a high status, there are rarely finished lyrics at the beginning of a creative process, but more often musical ideas. With individual shapings, the theoretical stages can be seen in the creative process of songwriters, but the process cannot be described as a linear succession of these stages because it often runs disjointedly or in circles.

Conclusions: Intrinsic motivation and deliberate practice are important for young composers, regardless of genre. However, various development processes become evident, which can be explained by different domains (learned musical instrument, individual vs. group). Rock music arrangements are also created mainly using exchange and co-operation within the band. Empirical access to knowledge of inspiration with the help of self-statements remains problematic as it depends heavily on the level of self-awareness of those surveyed. Other methodical access following the long distance experiments by Bahle (e.g. Recording thought-processes during composing on a dictating machine) may offer solutions here.

 

References

Bahle, J. (1947). The musical creation process. Psychology of creative forms of experience and drive. [second edition] (= creative humanity, vol. 1). Constance: Paul Christiani (EA 1936).

Bullerjahn, C. & Graebsch, B. (1999). Personality Traits and Motivation Structure of Young Composers: An Empirical Pilot Study. In: M. O. Belardinelli & C. Fiorilli (Eds.) Musical Behavior and Cognition. Comportamento e cognizione musicale (= General Psychology - Psicologia Generale 1999; 3/4) (pp. 299-311), Rome: Edizioni Scientifiche Magi.

Bullerjahn, C .; Graebsch, B. & Niemann, C. (1998). Why are they actually composing? Motivation and personality of young people composing. Lecture given at the 14th annual meeting of the German Society for Music Psychology "The Musical Personality" in Dortmund from 4. — 6. September 1998.

Fahrberg, J .; Hampel, R. & Selg, H. (1989). The Freiburg personality inventory FPI. Revised version FPI-R and partially changed version FPI-A1. Manual instruction. 5., expanded edition, Göttingen, Toronto & Zurich: Hogrefe.

Simonton, D.K. (1996). Creative Expertise: A Life-Span Developmental Perspective. In: K. A. Ericsson (Ed.) The Road to Excellence. The Acquisition of Expert Performance in the Arts and Sciences, Sports and Games (pp. 227-253), Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Weisberg, R. W. (1999). Creativity and Knowledge: A Challenge to Theories. In: R. J. Sternberg, (Ed.) Handbook of Creativity (pp. 226-250), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 


Heiner Gembris (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg)

Are talent and expertise enough for a musical career?

The graduate project: conception and results of a pilot study

Background and question: The starting point of the project is the observation that it is very difficult for instrumentalists and singers to get engagements after their training and that many do not succeed in finding appropriate musical employment, although they have high musical qualifications (measured by the degree they have achieved) . The graduate project examines the question of how the professional careers of music college graduates (instrumentalists and singers) continue after they have left the college. The focus is on the phase of integration into the labor market in the first two years after training. The aim is to examine which factors contribute to a successful transition from study to professional life and which hinder it. Further questions relate to, among others. on the connection between labor market development, training and career as well as differences between graduates of different instruments and voice subjects.

Methods: In order to clarify these questions, data should be collected on three different levels:

Graduate level: A cross-sectional study (standardized questionnaire) should examine a) how many and which singers or instrumentalists find engagement, b) which factors play a role, c) how this phase of professional development is experienced and managed. Graduates (strings, wind instruments, piano, vocals) from five years of a medium-sized music college should be used as test subjects.

Level of professional practice: topic-centered interviews with labor market experts should be used to find out which musical and extra-musical demands are placed on singers and instrumentalists in practice. The labor market experts to be interviewed consist of two groups: a) agents from public and private agencies, b) conductors and other decision-makers in orchestras and public theaters.

Training level: Through a survey of the lecturers (topic-centered guideline interviews) of the above Subjects at the same conservatoire should be examined to determine whether and in what way problems of professional practice are taken into account in the training.

Preliminary results of a pilot study: The project implementation is currently in the early stages. So far, two exploratory pilot studies have been carried out, the purpose of which was to test the appropriateness of the methods and to stimulate the generation of hypotheses and theories. The first pilot study will be reported here; it focuses on the professional integration of singers and consists of topic-centered guided interviews with agents of public agencies (n = 5), graduates (n = 3) and university lecturers (n = 1). The interviews were evaluated using the method of qualitative content analysis (Mayring 1997).

The results of the agency interviews confirm that integration into professional practice, especially with female singers, is becoming more and more difficult due to the continuously deteriorating labor market situation for years. Due to the growing competition for fewer and fewer jobs, expectations of the level of musical performance are increasing. But only when these are combined with a number of other musical, physical and psychological characteristics do the chances of a successful career increase. For female opera singers, these qualities include, from the point of view of theater agents, Charisma, a strong motivation to want to present yourself, obsession with the theater, good looks, physical and psychological resilience, etc.

Apparently, the professional success of singers or musicians is based on a combination of characteristics, among which high musical performance as a result of talent and / or expertise is a necessary but not a sufficient condition. One conclusion is that the skill or expertise concepts can help explain the level of musical achievement, but not the success or failure of musical careers.

 

Heiner Gembris (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg)

Are Talent And Expertise Sufficient For A Musical Career?

The ALUMNI Project: Overall Concept And Results From A Pilot Study

Background and issues: Casual observation reveals that instrumentalists and singers have difficulty obtaining engagements on the current employment market after their training. Many do not succeed in making an adequate livelihood from music despite the fact that they possess high musical qualifications - at least judging from the degrees earned. Our alumni project asks how the professional careers of recent graduates (instrumentalists and singers) proceed once musicians leave the music academies. The focus of this study is the phase of professional integration on the job market within the first years following graduation. The aim is to find out which factors contribute to a successful transition from college to engagement, and which factors hinder this transition. Further aspects of the study pertain to the relation between current trends on the job market, training and career, and possible differences between singers and instrumentalists playing different instruments.

Methods: To address the above questions data has to be gathered at different levels: