Adulthood and music participation in a community band: a collective case study of the lived experiences of adult community band members
Schultz, Andrew John
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One of the historic goals expressed by music educators is for all individuals to participate in music making throughout their adult lives. The purpose of this study was to examine the lived experiences of community band members in order to better understand how music making might serve various roles and hold differing meanings for adults across their lifespan. Adult participation in a community band was identified for examination as it is a music making experience that individuals can participate in throughout their adult lives. In order to understand the context of music making in lives of the adult participants, a collective case study was used for this study. Data was gathered through in-depth interviews and analyzed to gain an understanding of the various roles and differing meanings of music in the lives of the seven adult community band member participants. The participants ranged in age from early adults through older adults in retirement. Analysis of the individual cases revealed how each participant expressed their music making experiences in the community band through aspects of their adult lives. For each case, themes were developed that illustrated the various roles and the different meaningful aspects music making held in the lives of the participants. The cross-case analysis identified themes of enjoyment and cognitive functions as common issues articulated in all of the individual cases. While the themes of enjoyment and cognitive functions were apparent in all of the cases, the context for these themes was individualized within the adulthood roles and developmental tasks of each participant. Findings from the study illustrate an individualistic and collective lifespan perspective of the various roles and differing meanings music making had in the lives of these adult community band members.