Title

Advanced High School String Players' Listening and Performing Preferences

Poster Number

33

Lead Author Affiliation

Music Educaion

Introduction

This research is inspired by the sociological issue of cultural omnivorism and the notion that engagement in more styles of music leads to enhanced cultural capital and life opportunities.

Purpose

Music education researchers are studying the way music education experiences lead to musical omnivorism.

Method

This study surveyed advanced high school orchestra string players regarding their listening habits and playing opportunities across a range of musical genres to gauge their interest and access to styles. Sixty advanced high school string players completed a survey regarding their preferences for listening to various music styles, as well as performing experiences and aspirations for playing a variety of string genres.

Results

Results showed virtually all benefitted from private lessons, and the majority had attended orchestra and other music camps and participated in festivals/ competitions. The majority (63%) reported their teachers having used Suzuki materials in private lessons. Regarding their listening habits, most (66%) reported listening to classical music, with just over one-third listening to classic rock and rap. There were moderate, significant correlations between the number of styles respondents listened to and the number of styles played on their instrument, and between these factors and the number of styles they hoped to play in the future. Jazz was the “alternative style” played by the most string students (n = 37), followed by rock (n = 26), folk (n = 21), Celtic (n = 14), mariachi (n = 11), hip-hop (n = 9), and bluegrass (n = 8). Respondents indicated which styles had been learned in or out of school, as well as those they hoped to play more in the future; response patterns were not always linked to cultural background or race/ethnicity in ways that might be expected. Overall, all but three respondents reported listening to multiple styles, with 76% indicating two – five styles and the remainder indicating up to 13 styles; 77% reported they play more than one style on their string instrument. Almost a third indicated they are not interested in continuing to play classical music in the future but are interested in playing other styles on their string instrument. Results show music educators styles of music to consider including in their music programs. Discussion includes the issue of life-long learning, transfer of knowledge/skills, and accessibility.

Significance

Advanced high school orchestra string players, well-versed in classical music, were eager to learn other genres of music. In this West Coast population, jazz was the style chosen most often as an area of interest/exposure. 95% of students listened to styles other than classical music, and 77% reported playing styles other than classical music. Almost a third of these advanced students were interested in pursuing music in genres other than classical music. This gives significant curricular perspective to music educators determining the direction of their music programs of the future. Pedagogical questions for the future include: 1) what styles should be included in a school curriculum?, 2) at what developmental point do educators include repertoire/techniques of various styles?

Location

DeRosa University Center, Stockton campus, University of the Pacific

Format

Poster Presentation

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Apr 25th, 10:00 AM Apr 25th, 12:00 PM

Advanced High School String Players' Listening and Performing Preferences

DeRosa University Center, Stockton campus, University of the Pacific

This research is inspired by the sociological issue of cultural omnivorism and the notion that engagement in more styles of music leads to enhanced cultural capital and life opportunities.