FEMALE STUDENTS TALK ABOUT WOMEN COMPOSERS: TWO MISCONCEPTIONS AND A SELF-LIMITING BELIEF

Anne Bonnycastle

Abstract


This paper describes an action research project that investigated female high school orchestral students’ reflections after they had spent a term playing an all-female composed repertoire set. Analysis of conversational interviews showed that participants commonly held two misconceptions: that few women composed music in the past and that there is no gender gap in contemporary music composition. At the same time, participants attributed their intention to not pursue music composition as a career to their belief that they lacked the innate talent and creativity required to become a successful composer. Simply adding women composers to the repertoire was not sufficient an intervention to change students’ attitudes: the need for further educational intervention is discussed.

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ISSN 1925-7147

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