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ManChoir: boys’ perspectives of participation in an all-male choir in a Tasmanian, co-educational school


Baker, WJ and Morrell, MA, ManChoir: boys' perspectives of participation in an all-male choir in a Tasmanian, co-educational school, Proceedings of the 20th ASME National Conference: Music - Educating for Life, 30 September - 2 October 2015, Adelaide, South Australia, pp. 15-21. ISBN 978-0-9803792-4-2 (2015) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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This qualitative, multimethod research arose out of our curiosity about "ManChoir", a nonselective, all-male choir in an independent, Tasmanian, coeducational, secondary school. The research questions asked why the boys chose to join and what they perceived as the benefits of their continued participation. The study included 13 self-selected participants aged between 11 and 18 years, who each responded to a survey and participated in a semistructured, individual interview. Resulting data were analysed using a thematic, inductive approach, revealing themes congruous with the literature. Participants cited many reasons for joining the choir including the importance of male friendship and boys singing together, mentoring and role modelling, a sense of agency and personal wellbeing, and repertoire selection. Inversely the analysis also highlighted reasons why students chose not to join the all-male choir. These included fear of bullying due to gender stereotyping, and fear of the consequences of their changing voices. The reasons for staying in "ManChoir" related directly to the reasons for joining, including the importance of role models and friendship and the "safe" singing environment. It also emerged that participants enjoyed a special bond across wide-ranging age groups, this playing an important part in their overall sense of agency and ownership in regard to the group.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:Boys, singing, school, choir
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Creative arts, media and communication curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Gender aspects in education
UTAS Author:Baker, WJ (Dr Bill Baker)
UTAS Author:Morrell, MA (Mrs Meredith Morrell)
ID Code:103322
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2015-10-05
Last Modified:2018-03-19
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