Augmenting the instrumental music program: a case study of Mark Wood's "Electrify Your Strings" program
The purpose of this research was to examine Mark Wood's "Electrify Your Strings" (EYS) program. Three research questions guided this study: 1) What is the history of the EYS program and what was the driving philosophy behind its start? 2) What are the pedagogical benefits, if any, that EYS provides for a typical music ensemble? 3) What is the perception of EYS by current music educators, students, parents and school administrators? This case study attempted to triangulate current research against participant interviews and their member checking, (Creswell and Poth, 2018). Participants were selected from current music educators, former high school students, parents of high school students, and school administrators who all had participated in an EYS event. Interviews were semi-structured in nature, transcribed, and double coded using a set of a priori codes that evolved between the first and second coding. Perception of the program was positive, citing increased student confidence, increased camaraderie in the ensemble, increased program growth and retention, and increased support of the program as benefits of participation in EYS. Perceived hindrances were few, cost of the program and logistics of hosting a program, but insignificant against the perceived benefits. EYS is not a new paradigm in music pedagogy. It doesn't replace the long standing tradition of Western European classical music. It augments the successful pedagogy already being used in the classroom, incorporating classic rock and contemporary music, to encourage students to use creativity, innovation, movement, and self-expression to connect with music more deeply.