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Abstract

The purpose of the current study was to describe the process of music learning and the perceptions of members in a school-based middle school handbell setting. The participants were 39 students and one music teacher in a middle school in Texas. The design of the current study was a case study using observation and interview data. The results highlight a successful middle school handbell ensemble setting that could be used as a model for a different form of music learning environment than the traditional options generally found in the schools. The study describes the practices and perceptions of a handbell choir situated in the public schools, including themes of (a) instructional processes, (b) music reading, (c) repertoire selection, (d) reasons for participating, and (e) future handbell participation. Conclusions address pragmatic issues for practitioners to consider in the implementation of a school-based handbell ensemble.

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