Chamber Music Coaching Strategies and Techniques that Enable Collaboration
Dorianne Cotter-Lockard, Student, School of Human & Organizational Development
This study documents and provides an understanding of how the Cavani String Quartet (CSQ) uses their “coaching strategies and techniques” to teach advanced music students to work together as teams. My primary goal in conducting this research was to gain a deeper understanding of the process of coaching student string quartets, in particular the process used by the CSQ. My secondary goal was to gain an understanding of how the coaching process helps student string quartets learn to work effectively together. Gaining an understanding of how student string quartet members learn to work together may provide insights into how organizational teams learn collaboration.
I conducted a qualitative study to explore CSQ’s coaching strategies and techniques, using an interpretive inquiry approach. The research design included semi-structured interviews of members of the CSQ and their chamber music students, video-recordings of coaching sessions and individual post-coaching session interviews of students and coaches. During the post-coaching interviews, I showed video-clips of the coaching session and asked open-ended questions to elicit experiences related to the coaching and learning process.
The results of this study support existing literature in the areas of establishing a positive environment, psychological safety, instilling democratic rehearsal processes and the use of gesture and body movement. The findings also support and extend literature in the areas of rehearsal strategies and collaboration processes. This study contributes a comprehensive model for coaching chamber music, as well as the concept of the generative team, which includes elements such as positivity, caring communication, equal voice, ability to shift perspective, commitment, and the ability to become the ‘other.’ These results have the potential to be used to expand music education in schools around the world and to be generally applied to develop teams in other types of organizations to collaborate effectively.