Music for Sustainability
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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This study researched, developed, implemented and evaluated a Music for Sustainability pilot program that combined music production, Education for Sustainability, and modern technology. A literature review revealed that there were no similar educational programs documented at the time of the study, yet yielded substantial evidence supporting the creation of such a program. To ascertain best practices in curriculum development, implementation, and assessment, further research was conducted along with procuring expertise from professionals in relevant fields. The researcher coupled background research with personal experience in music education to create a Music for Sustainability pilot program consisting of seven lesson plans and a culminating assignment called the Legacy Project. The pilot program was administered to students ages 15-18 that were attending Conserve School (an environmentally-focused, boarding school) during the fall 2014 semester. Pre- and post-treatment surveys were administered to procure quantitative data, and an open-ended questionnaire was administered post-treatment to participants in the class to gather qualitative data. Four primary variables were measured in the survey: 1) Interest in the environment, 2) Comfort using technology, 3) Interest in making music, 4) Comfort creating original, authentic music. The survey revealed a consistent trend that students in the class gained more in all four categories than the non-participant group. Qualitative findings suggest that overall the program was very well-received and successful; however, it could be improved by increasing class time and further differentiating instruction of the music theory and music production technology components. The Music for Sustainability program has broad applications including instilling creative arts in nature-based organizations and small schools (such as boarding and charter schools), revitalizing traditional school programming across disciplines, and empowering youth in other institutional settings.