'3:36pm, that's when all the fun starts': Forming musical identity through secondary school music

Andrew Sutherland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Many secondary music students graduate from school and stop being actively involved in making music in the community. This is frustrating for music educators who have watched their journey of musical development and then discover it came to a sudden end once they leave the school. One of the goals of a music teacher is to develop a love of music that will enable lifelong learning. Five students who have been taught by the researcher discuss issues and events that have led to their passion for music making lasting beyond the secondary school experience. Their musical experiences provided such a positive impact on them that not only did they pursue musical activities beyond school, but also discussed that they would not consider ceasing musical engagement until the end of their lives. Their relationship with music and their friends who share a similar passion has provided them all with a sense of musical identity. They are musicians and they hope they always will be. The formation of personal, musical identity and social musical identity is critical in the process of students seeing themselves as lifelong, active participants in music. Identity and the impact that this had on their decision to remain actively engaged with music will be explored. Implications for the research will include providing secondary music students with a variety of musical activities that includes collaboration with outside ensembles to support the development of personal and social, musical identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162 - 175
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Journal of Music Education
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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