Lang, M, Becoming HIP: discovering musical identities through engagement with music (2017) [PhD]
The study consisted of 48 semi-structured interviews with 12 students in various levels of engagement with HIP. Interviews were conducted during the process of preparing, delivering, and evaluating a performance, and were situated according to activity. Through Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), themes were identified and grouped into five chapters: ‘Me and Music’, encompasses individual engagement with music through life stories, possible selves, and role identities such as musician, performer, student, or instrumentalist; ‘The Musician in Me’, includes more personal components of musical identities, such as beliefs about the nature of knowledge and ability, and perceptions of skills, abilities, and personal characteristics.; ‘Music, Me, and Others’ considers identity in interaction with important others, particularly one-to-one teachers; ‘Music and Me’, is focused on significant behaviours which are influenced by musical identities; and ‘Becoming HIP’, which examines the interview data in relation to engagement with HIP, and discusses interactions of identification with HIP and musical approach.
Identification with HIP was associated with a marked shift towards more positive musical identities. The HIP philosophy and approach supported students in taking greater responsibility for learning, decision-making, and performance. Student perceptions of control and competence were improved, resulting in greater autonomy and performance confidence. Conceptualisations of being a performer became more conducive to aiming for controlled performance, rather than automated delivery of prepared material. Developmental trajectories became surer and future options as performing musicians became more imaginable. Overall, HIP-identified participants began to engage in behaviours and develop skills recognised as conducive to successful transition into a career as a professional musician (Gaunt, Creech, Long, & Hallam, 2012). Importantly, there were also participants who did not fully respond to the HIP approach, in spite of professing their devotion to the style. Reasons for limited identification and engagement could be found in misalignment of self-perceptions and beliefs with the expectations of HIP, offering a potential point for intervention.
This study highlights the importance of positive musical identities for optimal development and well-being in a music education setting, and for the greatest chance of a successful transition into a musical profession. It also suggests that greater self-awareness of the contents and effects of musical identities would facilitate positive behaviours even when self-perceptions are not in alignment with expectations. These results present a challenge to music educators; however, they also suggest a path towards improved connections between tertiary music study and the realities of professional roles. Tertiary institutions are ideally situated for supporting effective musical engagement, as illustrated by the example of HIP. Further research is required in different stylistic and pedagogical areas, and to identify pedagogical techniques towards developing positive musical identities, including greater sense of competence, autonomy, and responsibility for learning.
|Keywords:||music, performance, psychology, HIP, identity|
|Research Division:||Creative Arts and Writing|
|Research Field:||Musicology and ethnomusicology|
|Objective Division:||Culture and Society|
|UTAS Author:||Lang, M (Ms Megan Lang)|
|Deposited By:||Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment|
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