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Advanced youth music ensembles : experiences of, and reasons for, participation

Hewitt, Allan and Allan, Amanda (2013) Advanced youth music ensembles : experiences of, and reasons for, participation. International Journal of Music Education, 31 (3). pp. 257-275. ISSN 0255-7614

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Abstract

The experience of advanced young musicians who take part in out-of-school orchestras or concert bands has not received much attention from researchers. For this study, 72 adolescent musicians who had been members of an advanced-level Symphony Orchestra or Concert Band completed an online survey that explored (a) previous experience of participation and (b) the importance of that previous experience when making future decisions about participation. Results suggested that previous experience was very positive. Enjoyment of public performances, sense of musical satisfaction from participating, opportunities to meet new people and spending time with other musicians were particular features of participation. Positive feedback from friends and peers was of greatest importance at the initial stages, though ongoing decisions tended to be based on the positive experience of the musical and social aspects of participation rather than contextual aspects such as location, or the input of significant others such as instrumental teachers or parents.