Music, Education and Me: A Study of Self in Musical Performance
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This master-thesis is about the phenomenon of self in musical performance. The empirical basis for my project includes a first-hand study of my own performance as a jazz singer and in-depth interviews with two performing musicians and educators. The study has a phenomenological-methodological perspective, and builds on theories of self and performance from psychology, phenomenology and aesthetics. Findings in the study suggest a three-dimensional model for the phenomenon of self in the context of musical performance; the General Self, the Personal Self and the Embodied self. Each of the three dimensions of self in musical performance appeared with a set of characteristics that constitute the different dimensions. Based on my data I argue that what I have labelled the General Self in musical performance is characterized by multiplicity, on-going-self-evaluation, development and relational aspects. The Personal Self in musical performance seems to be characterized by a focus on me/authenticity and presence, and the Embodied Self by physical presence, bodily sensation and balance, as presented in the findings. The three dimensions of self in musical performance are described, based on my interview data as well as transcriptions and analysis of my research videos and the rehearsal log. In the discussion of the findings the interaction between the three dimensions are described and presented as a model. The three dimensions are discussed in light of other theories of self. In the last chapter I discuss educational implications with the view to the implementation of educational practices focusing on bodily balance of self and awareness-training through an interdisciplinary approach that implies the use of improvisation as a teaching method as well as the development of a process-oriented attitude.