From isolation to collaboration: An autoethnographic account
The Qualitative Report
Nova Southeastern University
School of Education
In this paper I explore my personal experiences with collaborative music performance projects. Collaborations between different groups of musicians can be a transformative moment in the lives of students and music educators. The process of collaboration provides opportunities that cannot always be achieved when an ensemble performs alone. Many of these projects were undertaken in my role as a music educator responsible for school music ensembles but in one case, as a conductor of a community band. This idiographic auto-ethnographical study is based on my own reflective journal, which was analysed using Autoethnography and Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. The themes identified include: Isolation versus Collaboration, Social Interaction, and Music on a Grand Scale. The findings support the idea that there are considerable advantages for engaging in collaborative performance projects, which cannot only be musically enriching but provide unexpected social and cognitive benefits.