Melbourne Conservatorium of Music - Theses

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    Playing My Instrument Again: Participation in a Community Music Group
    Honman, Louise ( 2021)
    Performing in instrumental ensembles is a popular activity for amateur musicians throughout Australia. This dissertation explores the experiences of adult musicians who play in a community music group in Melbourne. Using ethnographic research methods I explore the musical backgrounds, motivations and musical identities of members of the Feathertop Fiddle and String Band. Over a period of eight weeks, I interviewed five members and two former leaders of the band. The interviews are supplemented by participant-observation and documentary research. I discuss my results using thematic analysis, examining learning, performing and leading. I discuss how community music scholarship is often framed by practices that have evolved to promote positive interventions in people’s lives. From the interviews conducted, I question assumptions about some of community music’s broader aims for social connectedness. Lastly, I suggest that the discipline of ethnomusicology is a neglected voice in community music studies within Australia, and what we might be missing as a result.