Developing feedback skills in preservice music teachers
Feedback is an important component of learning, and is an essential skill to develop in teacher education. However, research on feedback in music teaching and learning has not yet explored the process of learning to give feedback in music teaching settings. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of preservice music teachers learning to give feedback in instrumental music contexts. Participants (N = 11) were enrolled in a woodwind methods course designed for K-12 group music teaching settings in the United States, in which they learned techniques for teaching and performing woodwind instruments, and extensive class time was used to develop skills in providing feedback on performance. Using interviews, researcher journals, student reflections, and observations of feedback activities, this research explored how students make sense of their experiences in learning to give and receive appropriate educational feedback. Findings included enriched understanding of feedback, the importance of rapport in the feedback process, the importance of expertise and issues of trust, and changes in preservice teacher’s perceptions of effective feedback over time. We suggest that deliberate, scaffolded, and prolonged development of feedback skills helps preservice teachers to develop confidence and competency in the art of feedback.