Competitive jazz festivals: what motivates Northern California instrumental music teachers to participate in them?
Calonico, Robert Michael
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In this study, I explored the motivations of high school instrumental music teachers to participate in competitive jazz festivals, specifically those sponsored by the California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Bay Section. I was interested in learning the specific needs participation in competitive festivals satisfied for high school music educators. Based on the tenets of Self-Determination Theory (SDT), I investigated whether the three basic psychological needs of autonomy, competency, and relatedness were among the needs being satisfied. I was curious whether an individual’s background in jazz or any other factors had any bearing on their decision to participate. Through interviews teachers shared their experiences, both positive and negative, of participating in competitive jazz festivals. The following research questions guided this study: 1. What motivates high school music teachers to participate in competitive jazz festivals? 2. What specific needs are satisfied through their participation? 3. How does one’s jazz background influence motivation to participate in CMEA Bay Section events? In answering the aforementioned research questions, I chose a case study design. Interviews with twenty-nine high school instrumental music teachers were conducted at their respective work sites, except for three phone interviews and one via electronic mail. Five themes identified through data analysis about festivals specifically included feelings about competition, judging, negative feedback from adjudicators, hearing and seeing other groups, and a suggestion for the addition of a clinic for all participating groups. Six general themes about CMEA Bay Section or participants’ feelings included more progressive thinking, a perception that youth among adjudicators was inadequately represented, a notion that festivals provided opportunities for process and growth, a feeling that many were forced to weigh the costs versus the benefits of participation, an expressed feeling of isolation in the profession, and a lack of awareness on the part of administrators about their participation in CMEA Bay Section jazz festivals.