Meaningful Music Memories
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this qualitative, narrative study was to explore long-term, meaningful memories associated with participating in Ontario high school music programs. I sought to understand how and why music experiences identified by participants were meaningful to their lasting memories of high school music. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with six adults over the age of 30 who had taken music during their time in Ontario public high schools. In most cases, two interviews were conducted in hopes of exploring participants’ memories in detail in order to develop a deeper understanding of their experiences. This study found there are several key factors that influence people’s memories of high school music. Participants who had positive memories of high school music recalled supportive, enjoyable class environments, the role that their teacher played, the development of relationships with their peers, selecting their instrument, unique opportunities, the specialness of music class, comfort in music class, increased confidence, and overall enjoyment. Participants who had adverse memories of their high school music experiences associated these memories with their teacher, being assigned an instrument they were not interested in learning, and the pace of class. It is my hope that this study contributes to current teaching practices by providing educators with knowledge about the long-term impact that their music programs have, or might have, on students, giving teachers the opportunity to re-evaluate their programs and consider the experiences they bring to their students.