Preferred Name

Ayn T. Balija

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


School of Music


Amadi Azikiwe


The applied music lesson remains a revered symbol of Western European tradition in American music education. Very little research exists assessing its continued viability as a method in its current form. This paper examines eight author observed assumptions about applied music lessons which flaw the learning process. Through available research, the assumptions demonstrate that the traditional applied lesson is teacher centered and difficult to assess. Exposing the resultant delusions of the eight assumptions reveals how a holistic approach in a studio can engage students in critical thinking and enhance student self-awareness. These primary goals place the educational emphasis on the process rather than the technically perfect performance as the terminal experience. Sample lesson techniques for undergraduate viola students will incorporate critical thinking methods to transform the weekly encounter into a student-centered experience which develops skills for continued self-directed study.



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