Title

MOTIVATIONAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO PARTICIPATION IN COMMUNITY BANDS OF THE MONTACHUSETT REGION OF NORTH CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS

Date of Completion

January 1985

Keywords

Music

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Community bands offer an opportunity for life-long participation in a musical activity. However, few school-trained musicians go on to participate in community bands. The purpose of this study was to examine motivations of those musicians who joined a community band. Sources of motivation investigated included (1) background experiences, (2) concurrence with perceived philosophical purposes, (3) intrinsic rewards inherent in participation, and (4) organizational principles.^ Data were gathered by questionnaires from (1) managers, (2) directors, and (3) members of the nine community bands in the Montachusett Region. Questionnaires were pre-tested by a pilot study. In the complete survey, questionnaires were distributed by the researcher at band rehearsals or concerts, and collected at subsequent sessions. Usable responses were received from nine managers (100 percent), ten directors (100 percent), and 185 members (76.4 percent).^ Results supported the following conclusions: (1) Community band members were local residents, were well-educated, were employed in middle range socio-economic level occupations, and were members of families that participated in community bands. Members had taken school and/or private instrumental lessons, played at least one additional instrument, and performed with other types of musical organizations. They considered themselves "amateur" musicians, and had positive opinions of their own playing ability and that of their community band. (2) Playing in a school concert band and attending community band concerts were the activities that most influenced motivation to participate. Participation in an armed-service band and/or all-state band were important influences to the small number of members who had these experiences. (3) Senior high school was the time in life of the greatest frequency and diversity of musical participation. Senior high school concert band was the most common activity. (4) Members viewed community bands as a community service that entertained an audience and provided a musical outlet for performers. Educational and social purposes were considered secondary. (5) Members participated in a community band primarily out of a love for music and for personal pleasure. However, they also indicated a need to express themselves musically before an audience. (6) Many organizational structures were viable. Key personnel included a manager (responsible for business aspects) and a director (responsible for musical aspects). ^