Expert team theory and goal oriented rehearsal strategies for a new music ensemble : a case study
Oosthuizen, Pieter Andreas
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The purpose of this intrinsic case study was to show how Expert Team Theory can explain the application of goal orientated rehearsal strategies which were designed for this study for an ad hoc ensemble at the School of Music of the North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa. The case study was considered as the most suitable research method to investigate the ways in which goal-orientated rehearsal strategies influence dynamics during rehearsals of a new music ensemble, and the experiences by the members of their interaction, because this approach allowed me to investigate these strategies in a real world environment. This study was born out of an interest in rehearsal strategies and in different ways to structure music rehearsals. The characteristics of a new music ensemble determined the use of Expert Team Theory as the theoretical basis for the design of the goalorientated rehearsal strategies. These characteristics correspond well with that of an expert team as “a set of interdependent team members, each of whom possesses unique and expert-level knowledge, skills, and experience related to task performance, and who adapt, coordinate, and cooperate as a team, thereby producing sustainable and repeatable team functioning at superior or at least nearoptimal levels of performance” (Salas et al., 2006:439-440). Based on interviews with the participants and the observations of video recordings of the rehearsals, the results show that interpreting the data through the theoretical lens of Expert Team Theory enabled me to explain the rehearsal process as a dynamic confluence of experiences created through the interaction of the ensemble members who grew through increasing cooperation and coordination to resemble an expert team. Their sense of collectiveness and their trust coupled with strong leadership allowed the success of the strategy of prebrief-performance-debrief. The ensemble developed progressively clearer shared mental models and understandings of roles and responsibilities. A clear, valued and shared vision helped them to manage and optimize performance outcomes. The findings are also interrogated in terms of cooperative learning to further explain the web-like way in which different themes developed. This led to a discussion of the limitations of this study and suggestions for further research.
- Humanities