Listening and audience education in the orchestral concert hall

Nicholls, Claire Dorothea ORCID: (2019) Listening and audience education in the orchestral concert hall. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]


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.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Monash University Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Supervisors: Hall, Clare; Forgasz, Rachel
Date Deposited: 05 May 2022 01:20
Last Modified: 05 May 2022 02:01
Uncontrolled Keywords: audience education; listening; concert halls
Fields of Research (2020): 36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3603 Music > 360301 Music cognition
36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3603 Music > 360303 Music education
39 EDUCATION > 3902 Education policy, sociology and philosophy > 390299 Education policy, sociology and philosophy not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1601 Learner and learning > 160199 Learner and learning not elsewhere classified
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1301 Arts > 130102 Music

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