Music teachers are challenged with encouraging students to engage in regular home practice. Most practice recordings included with instrumental method books are recorded at performance tempi and do not take into consideration the diverse technical proficiency of learners. The lack of practice recordings for ensemble literature and the lack of differentiated practice recordings have left students who do not have access to or cannot afford private instruction at a disadvantage because the tools to help them to engage in guided, structured practice do not exist.
This researcher has written a series of middle school string orchestra arrangements with accompanying practice CDs specifically for this study. This action research study will examine the influence these researcher-developed practice CDs (differentiated-tempo aural models--DTAMS) of ensemble repertoire have on the motivation and attitudes towards home practice of middle school orchestra students. DTAMs will provide music educators with a way to assist students in engaging in effective home practice.