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Alternative pathways to musical mastery: exploring the lived experiences of two conductors

journal contribution
posted on 2016-01-01, 00:00 authored by Annabella Fung
Learners bring to learning enormously diverse demographics: class, age, culture, religion, personality, prior knowledge, and lifeworld experiences. While it is common for musicians to begin learning music in childhood and continue with formal tertiary music education, there are alternative pathways to musical mastery. Using an interpretative phenomenological analysis, this study explores the master-apprenticeship model and Confucian constant betterment in the musical development of two Hong Kong conductors who were late-starters in music learning. Specifically, it investigates the relationship between lifelong learning, musical success, identity change, and wellbeing in middle and later life. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken to seek participants’ understandings of their learning experiences and factors that enabled their success. The findings challenged the view that musical foundation is laid in childhood and that development is a linear process. Early false starts and missed learning opportunities were not detrimental; their desire for constant betterment and one-to-one mentoring received led to rewarding musical careers, which contributed to their wellbeing and positive ageing. Educators have moral responsibilities to address issues of equity and inclusiveness and to create opportunities for the potentially able but disadvantaged students to participate in all forms of learning, including non-formal and informal education outside the institutional context.

History

Journal

International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities

Volume

24

Issue

1

Pagination

1 - 16

Publisher

Common Ground Publishing

Location

Champaign, Ill.

ISSN

2327-0128

eISSN

2327-2627

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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