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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the use of figurative language between master and novice instrumental music teachers and to investigate their attitudes toward figurative language as a teaching tool. Figurative language is defined as any creative verbal instruction intended to teach a concept. Sixteen (N = 16) secondary school, instrumental directors were selected as participants. These were divided into two groups of novice and master teachers. Novice teachers were student teachers or first-year teachers, and master teachers had a minimum of eight years of experience, were selected as master teachers by professors at state universities and colleges, had ensembles that performed at a state convention, and had multiple ensembles with superior ratings at music festivals. Forty-five minutes of instruction were videotaped for each participant and the verbal instruction was transcribed for analysis. The frequency of figurative language usage was counted and the means of the two groups were compared. Master teachers in this study were found to have more instances of figurative language use than novice teachers. Following instruction, three survey questions were asked of participants to determine attitudes towards figurative language and it was found that master teachers valued the teaching tool slightly more than novice teachers.

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