Deficient musical literacy in students seems to be a pressing issue in music education research on a national and international scale. This qualitative study followed a case study design with action research elements within an ethnographic setting. Data was collected by means of passive observation of 23 lectures of an aural training course with 20 first year music students at the University of Pretoria and recording of field notes by the observer during these lectures. The aim of the study was to understand the development processes that are integral to developing musical literacy in young adults. The study specifically investigated the effectiveness of Gordon’s audiation development framework in first year music students’ aural training. To achieve this main goal, the study investigated challenges affecting audiation development that arose during first year aural training instruction, and how Gordon’s audiation framework was used as a guide for audiation development and instruction. Challenges related to active participation, vocal coordination, reconciling sound with tonal syllables, reconciling sound with theory, and the use of notation were noted during the observation period. Gordon’s framework encompassing the definition and classification of audiation and Gordon’s music learning theory formed the basis for audiation development in the aural training course. This framework also served as a guide for aural training instruction in the specific areas where challenges relating to the main themes arose, with interventions to audiation development challenges applied according to Gordon’s recommendations within the scope of the outcomes stipulated for the aural training programme. The study concluded that participants’ audiation development was facilitated effectively through the use of Gordon’s theories on audiation, as well as the identification of classroom challenges and the application of Gordon’s recommendations to address these challenges.
Dissertation (MMus (Musicology))--University of Pretoria, 2020.