Listening and audience education in the orchestral concert hall

PhD Thesis


Nicholls, Claire Dorothea. 2019. Listening and audience education in the orchestral concert hall. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. Monash University. https://doi.org/10.26180/5d51f4ca95ff3
Title

Listening and audience education in the orchestral concert hall

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorNicholls, Claire Dorothea
SupervisorHall, Clare
Forgasz, Rachel
Institution of OriginMonash University
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages316
Year2019
PublisherMonash University
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26180/5d51f4ca95ff3
Abstract

Audience education is a growing area of practice in the arts and community services. While empirical research flourishes in relation to audience engagement and development through marketing and programming, when it comes to educational work there is a paucity of theoretical and empirical understanding. This is especially true of current understandings of audiences, their listening experiences and how they contribute to lifelong learning and arts engagement in the concert hall. Thus, the present study seeks to understand how education and learning are experienced by listeners in the orchestral concert hall and investigate the pedagogies of listening employed to facilitate learning and engagement as part of audience engagement, education and development.

By generating data through semi-structured interviews, focus groups and the observation of eighteen concerts, the lifeworlds and experiences of audience members and arts
organisers were used to construct a phenomenology of listening experienced in three contrasting orchestral concert hall settings. The research includes data generated in professional and community orchestra contexts as well as perspectives from metropolitan and regional settings. The work undertaken here builds upon the theoretical frameworks offered by John Dewey (Experience as Education and Art as Experience), Christopher Small (Musicking: The meanings of performing and listening), Hans Georg Gadamer (Philosophical Hermeneutics) and Max van Manen (Phenomenology of Practice), and contributes to scholarship on education, pedagogy, experiential learning and orchestra audience development.

The findings theorise four essential qualities that are inherent to the practice of pedagogies of listening- the notion of relationality, the balance between various tensions, differentiation within both pedagogy and the act of listening itself, and the technologies utilised in pedagogies of listening. Each of the individual settings are also examined in detail to highlight the ways pedagogy is developed and how context and listener-audience-orchestra-musician relationships impact learning experiences through listening. In addition to these contributions to the scholarship of audience development and education, this thesis also offers a methodological innovation in the practice of phenomenological research using mindfulness and an exploration of the history of audience development. Both of these are published in peer reviewed journal articles and included as part of this thesis including published works.

Keywordsaudience education; listening; concert halls
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020360301. Music cognition
360303. Music education
390299. Education policy, sociology and philosophy not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsMonash University
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q746y/listening-and-audience-education-in-the-orchestral-concert-hall

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