AN EXPLORATION OF ENROLLMENT AND RETENTION TRENDS OF BEGINNING BAND AND ORCHESTRA STUDENTS IN THE FIRST YEAR OF INSTRUCTION
Glaser, Emily Anne
University of Kansas
Music Education & Music Therapy
Copyright held by the author.
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The purpose of this study was to explore student attitudes towards enrollment and retention in first-year beginning band and orchestra classrooms. A secondary purpose of this study was to investigate if different instrumental ensembles or various school settings demonstrated unique student attitudes regarding enrollment and retention rates in beginning band or orchestra classes. Enrollment and retention rates of participating ensembles were reported to supplement qualitative results. Seven categories of themes influencing enrollment and retention in beginning band and orchestra classes emerged through a constant comparative, grounded theory approach of analysis: (a) family, (b) fun, (c) music, (d) musical history, (e) opportunities, (f) social, and (g) teacher. Results indicated that students enrolled in their first year of beginning band or orchestra because of the encouragement or influence of a parent or trusted adult. All students that elected to continue their enrollment in band or orchestra after the first year of instruction did under perceived support from their parents and/or instrumental music teacher. Ensemble- and location-specific results were found, but were interpreted as circumstantial. Further research is necessary to explore the unique enrollment trends of these groupings. Results were discussed in terms of their value to band and orchestra teachers, their relationship to existing literature, limitations, and suggestions for further research.
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