Music Making in adolescence and beyond
Recent studies have indicated that while gender stereotypes are entrenched from early childhood, the most significant change in participation takes place in the transition from primary school to secondary school, with the onset of adolescence. In this chapter, the reasons for this change are heard through two voices: through background information from recent studies and through the voices of men reflecting on their experiences of music at school and the deterrents they encountered. It also refers to possible solutions that might assist in breaking down barriers from home, school and societal perspectives. As such, it presents both academic research and practical ideas for parents, schools and teachers to assist in addressing the lack of participation by males. The first part of the chapter is devoted to some of the background information about participation in music and asks the questions: Why participate? A rationale and advocacy perspective in relation to the engagement of males in music Who participates? Some data on participation rates in music and instrument choice What causes non-participation? A focus on some of the reasons as to why males don't participate in the arts How can teachers and parents overcome reluctance? Some strategies from recent international and Australian studies to assist in engagement in music The last part of the chapter takes the stories of two males, Brian and Brett, who reflect on their experiences of school. In so doing, some personal perspectives are added to background information from the first part of the chapter to assist in managing adverse circumstances and increasing engagement.
Male Voices: Stories of boys learning through making music