Problem-Based Learning in a Woodwind Methods Course: An Action Research Study

Jennifer A. Blackwell*, Nicholas E. Roseth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The purpose of this action research study was to explore the use of problem-based learning (PBL) in a secondary instrument methods course. Six students enrolled in a woodwind methods course and participated in PBL activities—including video assessment, written scenarios, emergent performance scenarios in the classroom, group activities, and structured peer teaching—aimed at improving their ability to diagnose and solve instrument-specific performance problems. We examined students’ perceptions of PBL, including their teaching confidence, retention of course materials, and overall course engagement. The data collected suggest that students perceived themselves to be learning effectively in this PBL environment, and they felt generally confident in their ability to teach woodwinds. In addition, students appreciated opportunities for “real-life” teaching scenarios and expressed high levels of motivation, though they found this approach somewhat haphazard and unstructured. We suggest that PBL may be a viable method for educating preservice music teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-69
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Music Teacher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • action research
  • music teacher preparation
  • preservice teachers
  • problem-based learning
  • self-efficacy
  • teaching techniques
  • woodwind methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music


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