Optimal musical engagement: the individual experience of participation within a musical community of practice

Godwin, L 2015, Optimal musical engagement: the individual experience of participation within a musical community of practice, Masters by Research, Education, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Optimal musical engagement: the individual experience of participation within a musical community of practice
Author(s) Godwin, L
Year 2015
Abstract This study explores the research problem of how to increase ongoing, life-long participation in playing a musical instrument. The research aim is to understand the nature and character of musical engagement within the case study group, and seek findings that may provide insights into how to foster ongoing participation in playing and learning a musical instrument.

The case study adopts a qualitative research approach to examine the relationship between the participation characteristics of an all-ages community-based fiddle group in central Scotland, and each participant’s perception of the quality of individual musical experience. Qualitative data is gathered through one-to-one interviews with eleven participants ranging from eight to sixteen years. This data set is triangulated with quantitative data collected through the online survey and documentary evidence.

Employing a phenomenological research approach, the researcher utilises a series of filters and lenses in order to analyse the data from the perspective of individual enjoyment, musical agency, self-affirmation and social affirmation. This process establishes various themes pertaining to the experience of participation in the musical community of practice arranged in four chapters: the collective dimension (belonging); the individual dimension (becoming); the cultural context and genre; and the pedagogical approach.

The research reveals that enjoyment is both an outcome of the experience of group participation, and a necessary factor if musical engagement is to be achieved. The findings demonstrate that lifelong participation in playing music can be fostered by participation in a musical community of practice grounded within an inclusive philosophy, embedded in an agreed cultural context and musical genre, and adopting a pedagogical approach which prioritises equally the individual and collective dimensions of musical agency.

Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Education
Keyword(s) Case study research
Community-based music making
Enjoyment
Musical agency
Optimal musical engagement
String instrument pedagogy
Traditional music
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Created: Wed, 23 Dec 2015, 10:30:23 EST by Denise Paciocco
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