Loren Jechort

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning


The research problem was— to study the relationship between Maritain's concept of the habitus and the fine art of musical performance.

The purpose of the study was (1) to identify philosophical truths concerning the role of the habitus in musical performance; and (2) to apply these truths to the performance program in music education.

The research procedure was a philosophical analysis of Maritain’s treatises on the fine arts and on education. Source material also included additional related writings by Maritain and pertinent studies on Maritain's philosophy, as prepared by other researchers.

The main body of the study was designed in terms of four broad components. The habitus was related to (1) the fine arts in general; (2) the aim of performance; (3) the action of performance; and (4) the use of performance.

As the study design evolved (through development), each component focused upon a particular selection of Maritain concepts for study and analysis. The habitus of fine art was discussed in terms of the intellect, the practical order of art, and the rules of art. The aim of performance was examined by relating "the disinterested work" to beauty, technique, and communication. The action of performance was considered in terms of artistic judgment, imitation, and the creative idea. The use of performance was studied by relating morality to performance. From the foregoing analysis, the relationship of the habitus to the three broad components of performance was discussed and summarized.

The conclusions were as follows: 1. The habitus of performance is an intuitive and operative disposition which empowers a performer to aurally produce music without a logical, conceptual understanding of his productive action. 2. The performer is only vaguely (preconsciously) aware of his habitus until its operative power is freed by intellectual connaturality with an object, the sound of a musical work. 3. The habitus relates to musical performance in the spiritual or internal sense; therefore, the material or external aspect of performance is subordinated to the spiritual aspect. 4. The operation of the habitus flows through the sound of a work, as the sound pleases or displeases the intellect. 5. The performer's connaturality with the sound of his music is defined as the placing of his self into the work. 6. The habitus operates through its object comprehensively, thereby causing the artistic components (aim and action) of performance to be interrelated and overlapped in their contribution to the final product. 7. The aim, action, and use of performance can occur concurrently; however, the use (of the product) must be subordinated to the art (from which it was conceived). 8. It is apparent that the most intense operative practice of the habitus will occur during the performance rehearsal, while the final performance is, to a greater extent, the use of the aural product and, to a lesser extent, a continuation of the aural art. 9. A reciprocal relationship exists (within the intellect) between the operation and development of the habitus. 10. The relationship of the habitus to musical performance explains why musicians, possessing a habitus of great depth, are able to perform musical works without the assistance of a written score and without dependence upon conceptual terminology.

Applications to the performance program in music education were made by (1) comparing the aim of performance to Maritain's definition of the aim of education; and (2) relating the habitus to learner intuition. The results of these comparisons had the following implications for the performance program:

1. The performance program must direct its attention toward the natural intelligence of the student; therefore, its aim should be to teach for the meaning of music rather than toward the habitus of performance. 2. The teaching of musical skills and concepts should not define the performance program. These material aims are contributory aims, necessary but secondary to the classroom art. 3. Since the meaning of music prepares the intellect for the development of the habitus, an immeasurable degree of the habitus is developed as a natural result of the student performer's connaturality with his aural object. A. The habitus, because of its internal depth, is the least accessible result of the performance program but one which has farreaching implications for the student in possession of such virtue. 5. The material means of performance, because of their external nature, are the most accessible results of the performance program, but these are measurable only in the immediate sense. 6. The instructor encourages student intellectual adherence to an aural object by adapting his educative approach to the spontaneous curiosity of the student. 7. Intellectual adhesion to an object of sound relates to connaturality; and the freeing of intuition, through connaturality, encourages the student to place his self into his aural object. Consequently, the enjoyment of music is given a renewed priority in the performance program.

Pursuant to the applications discussed, the following recommendations were made:

1. The student performer should be designated as the primary agent in the classroom (in place of instructional and institutional primacy). 2. Classroom performance should focus its attention upon works rather than students because, as previously determined, such an emphasis (on artistic endeavors) best serves the primary agent. 3. The use of classroom works should be subordinated to the productive action of classroom art; accordingly, the pursuit of nonmusical and extramusical objectives should be subordinated to the classroom production of musical works.