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How can I create a music program that supports deliberate practice?
How do we get students to practice more? How can we create classroom environments and communities that are worth practicing for? These questions led me to study how 7th and 8th grade students experienced practice while working together within the instrumental music ensembles at Pershing Middle School in San Diego California. Through surveys, writing samples, classroom observations and conversations with students, I explored how students experienced the classroom culture and responded to their feedback by building in more opportunities for autonomy, building community and performing for authentic audiences. As a result, I saw an increase in student engagement, motivation and practice.