Factors influencing non-music majors' decisions to participate in collegiate bands
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William Revelli stated that perhaps one of the greatest weaknesses of our school band programs is that, for the majority of the students, active participation ceases upon the day of graduation from our high schools. Music educators should strive to motivate all students, regardless of degree path, toward lifelong music making. After high school, many students do not pursue music as a major yet decide to participate in a collegiate ensemble. It seems relevant to investigate the influences behind these choices. The purpose of this study was to determine what factors contributed to a non-music major's decision to participate in their collegiate band(s). An email soliciting student participation was sent to college band directors through the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA). The 17-question electronic survey included an open-ended response, a 7-point Likert-type scale investigating factors that influenced their decision to participate in a collegiate ensemble, and demographic information. Participants (N = 2,933) were students enrolled at 95 colleges and universities from 37 states. The majority (56%) were enrolled in more than one type of band. Results from the open-ended response revealed that an overall love/enjoyment for music was the primary reason for continued music participation. Likert-type scale analysis showed a compilation of factors ultimately led to student participation. The factors with the highest mean scores, representing the strongest influences, were love/enjoyment for music, the overall high school band experience, self-pride of being a member of the college band, social aspects involved with the college band, and quality and reputation of the college band. Students enrolled in athletic bands (marching and pep bands) displayed higher motivation to continue playing from social influences whereas students enrolled in concert ensembles (concert and jazz bands) appeared to be more influenced by musical aspects. Findings from this study suggest that participants' intrinsically motivated desire to continue playing is largely due to the enjoyment started in beginning band, and continued throughout high school. Further research may investigate specific aspects related to the high school experience that promote continued music performance as well as techniques directors of all levels can utilize to encourage lifelong music making.
Table of Contents
The research problem -- Review of literature -- Methodology -- Results -- Discussion and implications -- Appendix A. Survey instrument -- Appendix B. Participant demographic information by college-university -- Appendix C. Mean and standard deviation scores by factor and demographic information