Vivid moments long remembered: the lifetime impact of elementary school musical theatre
Ogden, Holly Christine
MetadataShow full item record
This phenomenological study examined the long-term significance of participation in elementary school musical theatre productions. The research aimed to explore the common and unique themes that emerged from adults recalling their childhood experiences, and how these experiences affected the development of musical and life-related skills. A questionnaire was used as the initial exploratory tool. It was distributed to a diverse group of 134 individuals, in retail, business and education settings, representing a stratified sample in two Ontario communities. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six participants to elicit further memories of significant experiences related to their participation in elementary school musical theatre. The data analysis revealed five core themes and qualities related to the elementary school musical theatre experience including community and gender roles. The most significant meaning of school musical experiences for the participants had little to do with the skills developed in the arts, but rather focused on an increased sense of community and growth in self-awareness and confidence. Suggestions for future research on other salient aspects of elementary school are offered to shed further light on this phenomenon, which appears to have life-long and deep effects on those who are able to participate in elementary school musical theatre.