Teachers as audiences: Exploring educational and musical values in youth performances

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While music performances typically cater to insider audiences (S.E. Pitts, 2005, Valuing Musical Participation. Burlington, VT: Ashgate), Youth Performances aim to initiate young people who have not yet formed these connections. Teachers are the main gatekeepers of the event, functioning as sub-hosts, instigating the visit, and framing the experience by allotting class time (or not) for preparation and follow-up. Yet they are typically outsiders to musical performances. Their roles in Youth Music Performances are characterized by a double contrast: (i) compared with the insider audiences of regular performances, and (ii) compared with their own leadership role in their classroom. Observations of youth performances, and interviews with teachers attending these performances, reveal a close fit between school and performance values, both of which emphasize disciplined behaviour, and tolerance for diverse cultures. However, while music youth performances provide rich and generative curricula for children, presenting expressions that are not available in schools, teachers seem to be a fragile link. This indicates the significance of reaching out to teachers, nurturing their roles of framing these experiences and becoming part of the insider audience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-145
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of New Music Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Music


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