Musical Independence

Musical independence is a common objective for music instruction at all levels and relies upon a wide range of abilities and attittudes to be realized.  


Presentations and Handouts

Democracy in Action: Student Experiences and Perceptions of the Conductor-less Concert Band

Brian N. Weidner


Illinois Music Education Association-Peoria, IL-January 2019

Beyond Leadership: Developing Student Voice in the Large Ensemble

Brian N. Weidner


National Association for Music Education National Conference, November 14, 2018

Defining musical independence in the large ensemble classroom

Brian N. Weidner

Poster presentation

Big Ten Academic Alliance Music Education Conference, October 6, 2016, College Park, MD

Teachers' views of effective practice in the instrumental ensemble

Steven M. Demorest & Brian N. Weidner

Poster presentation

National Association for Music Education Music Research & Teacher Education National Conference, March 19, 2016, Atlanta, GA

Illinois Music Education Conference, January 29, 2016, Peoria, IL

Developing musical independence in the ensemble classroom

Paper presentation

College Music Society, November 7, 2015, Indianapolis, IL 


Musical independence in a high school band ensemble

Poster presentation

Symposium on Music Teacher Education, Sept 2015, Greensboro, NC

Current studies

Developing musical independence in the high school band

2015-Bulletin of the Council for Reearch in Music Education

This case study study investigated a concert band in a surburban school for how it addresses the development of musical independence.  This study develops a three part model for that addresses the band environment, teacher-directed instruction, and student-led problem solving and decision making as contributing factors to the development of musical independence.  An article is currently under review for this study.


2018-Musical independence in the large ensemble classroom (Dissertation)

This multi-study dissertation investigated the nature of music independence in the instrumental large ensemble and instructional practices that are used to foster its development.  This dissertation is comprised of three separate papers, each addressing different aspects or approaches to the practice of independent musicianship in large ensembles. 

A grounded theory of musical independence in the large ensemble (in review)

This grounded theory study investigates musical independence in three high school instrumental programs, respectively in rural, suburban, and urban settings.  It is investigating the similarities and differences between these programs in terms of how they address and develop student musical independence.

The effect of group practice strategy instruction on middle school instrumentalists' individual practice (in review)

This quasi-experimental study investigated the transfer of learning of strategies for effective practice from large ensemble rehearsal to individual practice.


If you would like to contact me to discuss research, set up a clinic/workshop, or share a literacy strategy, e-mail me at

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