Becoming a Voice for Innovation in the Orchestral Concert Hall

Nicholls, Claire D ORCID: and Henry, Matthew (2022) Becoming a Voice for Innovation in the Orchestral Concert Hall. In: 35th World Conference of the International Society for Music Education (ISME 2022), 17 July - 22 July 2022, Brisbane, Australia.


Much has been written in research about the increasing need to draw new audiences into classical music concerts and frequently these reports conclude that something must be done to give them a voice within the concert hall. Studies have demonstrated that for many people, the concert hall, theatre and orchestra present intangible barriers that unknowingly deter people from engaging in wonderful Arts events. For potential new and younger audiences, being unsure of etiquette and unspoken ‘rules’ of being an audience, having no or limited prior experience, or a lack of cultural capital frequently elicit responses such as 'that isn’t for me' and 'I don’t belong there'. These perceptions are often aggravated given the long tradition and history of the concert hall as being ‘high art’ and a belief that classical music (in the broad sense) is for sophisticated tastes only. As music educators and audience developers these present a significant challenges and call us to act as advocates that voice these needs of new audiences and employ fresh expressions as part of audience outreach and engagement.

This workshop will skill participants with strategies and techniques for audience development and outreach to new audiences to orchestral and classical music. The activities will draw on recent research carried out in community and professional concert halls and assist participants in considering how relationships, pedagogy and audience differentiation can be used as part of audience outreach and engagement in their unique contexts. Participants will be invited to challenge perceptions of what ‘education’ looks like within informal contexts such as the concert hall and the need for a shift towards the notion of ‘curating’ learning experiences for audiences. There will be a special focus given to designing concerts for younger audiences and their families, sharing empirically researched best practice, and exploration of how ordinary experience can be transformed into learning experiences promoting lifelong engagement in the Arts.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Speech)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2022 23:50
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2022 01:19
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3999 Other Education > 399999 Other education not elsewhere classified
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390101 Creative arts, media and communication curriculum and pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1699 Other education and training > 169999 Other education and training not elsewhere classified

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