Since 1977 ten innovatory keyboard laboratories, which enable teachers to utilize group teaching methods in musical instrument instruction, have been set up in A.C.T. educational institutions. Reactions to this innovation have been varied, and its usefulness queried. However, there has been a lack of information and little evidence of systematic research in Australia on this topic, perhaps because there are very few areas outside the A.C .T. where keyboard laboratories are used in schools. The investigation reported here attempted to determine why the innovation spread so rapidly in the A.C.T., the uses to which it was being put, and the kinds of support mechanisms that were necessary to ensure its optimum use. An interview known as the Levels of Use Interview was selected as the main method of collecting data from teachers using keyboard laboratories, and by analysing these interviews in the context of the A.C.T. educational milieu it was possible to predict a future pattern of usage, and recommend appropriate action to be taken by administrators responsible for the organization of A.C.T. education. The findings of the study supported theories that innovations are adopted by members of social networks and that the size of the system and degree of administrative and financial support may positively affect the spread of an innovation. All teachers using keyboard laboratories were convinced of their value, although this perception varied according to factors such as promotional status and recency of teacher training. In addition, the LoU Interview was found to be a highly appropriate tool for a practising classroom teacher to use in an investigation of this kind.
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