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ERIC Number: ED522045
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 267
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-3313-7
A Study of Michigan State University Undergraduate Music Performance Students' Perceptions of Their Experiences and Their Place in the University Setting
Vatne, Stacy Jennifer
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
The purpose of my study was to understand undergraduate music performance students' perceptions of their experiences as music performance majors and to assess music student positionality. Music student positionality, music students' perceptions of their place in the university setting, involves music majors' perceptions of their relationships to the larger campus and their perceptions of how non-music students, administrators and faculty (outsiders) view them, their programs of study/lives as music majors, and their college. My study finds its justification from multiple avenues, including the following: greater numbers of visual and performing arts students, the worth of music in society, some support in the literature for a relationship between retention and student positionality (social integration, sense of belonging, institutional fit, value sharing), and research showing positionality is germane for music education students (Roberts, 1991). I conducted individual interviews with 16 music performance majors at Michigan State University. Students created metaphors/similes for being a music performance major and performing. For both of these areas, I clustered metaphors/similes separately, creating a factor for each cluster. I also completed an additional analysis (Foss, 1996) on all the clusters. Areas covered on music students' perceptions of their experiences include declaring the major, choosing the university, choosing music performance, the psychological experience, musical involvement, mechanics, and music student modes. I created 5 clusters for participants' metaphors regarding being a performance major with these factors: "psychological struggle, struggle for musical success, rerun/echo, variety," and "experiencing music in relation to others." I created 6 clusters for participants' metaphors for performing with these factors: excitement, audience evaluation, transformation, mechanics, lack of awareness, and concentration. Music student positionality was mixed for my participants. Students had varying levels of connection, comfort, and belonging with the university outside the College of Music. Some music students spoke of the difficulty/adaptation required in interacting with/connecting to outsiders. Some spoke of College of Music/music student reclusion. Students felt that outsiders understood and did not understand them and their programs/lives as music majors, and they believed outsiders viewed them and their programs/lives positively and negatively. There were mixed views on whether outsiders valued the College of Music. Student views were also mixed regarding whether they cared about what outsiders may think about their musical programs of study. With no participants planning to depart MSU prior to graduation, I could make no assertions about any connection between participants' attrition and their positionality. For the participants, retention is likely dependent on their experiences within the College of Music, not at the university at large, as their connections in the College of Music are strong. I found some patterns in student responses across some of my interview questions. In conclusion, I presented suggestions for better serving, understanding and respecting music students and offered ideas for further research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan