Learning music in the third age




McElwain, Nancy Jill

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In the next decade approximately thirty percent of Canada’s population will consist of people entering (or already in) their third age and many will participate in community bands. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the learning styles, motivations, and perceived benefits of novice third-aged music learners to better inform instruction. Five members of a community band in central Vancouver Island, Canada were the participants in this instrumental case study. Data sources included personal profile questionnaires, interview transcripts, guided journals over four months, and field notes. Three themes that emerged from this study are (a) the relationship between the director and ensemble member is best served with a collaborationist-constructivist approach to teaching-learning; (b) varied levels of participation, and levels of aspiration require accommodation; and (c) the social aspects of third age learners in a community wind ensemble must be given due consideration. These themes have implications for practice.



motivation, music education, music learning, adult music education, community band, older adult learners, third age, gerontology, benefits of music learning