The meaning of BMus studies for early career graduates : a phenomenological study
Jacobs, Ellré Phyllis
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This study is a phenomenological investigation with the aim of understanding the meaning early career graduates ascribe to their BMus studies in the work environment. Open-ended interviews were conducted with fourteen participants and thematic data analysis was used to make sense of the data. The study provides knowledge of the experiences of BMus graduates to inform music academia on the practical needs existing within musicians’ work environment. When assessing the relevance of knowledge, skills and competencies during BMus studies from a work perspective, the participants mentioned learning efficiencies experienced such as gaining a ‘musical foundation’, which included ‘learning a musical language’, gaining ‘an advantage of understanding music’, ‘musical knowledge to draw from’, and developing ‘a musical perspective’. The reasons provided by the participants for the perceived value of subjects, classes and projects referred to were: knowledge, skills and competencies that were ‘reusable’, ‘enriched personhood’, and ‘enhanced musical ability’, as well as learning that allowed participants to ‘integrate, transfer or relate information to different contexts’. Learning deficiencies voiced by participants from a work perspective emphasised the need for ‘more practical application of knowledge’, ‘contextual understanding of knowledge’, ‘in-service training’, ‘a more supportive musical environment’, ‘more music-making opportunities’, as well as ‘career guidance’, ‘music technology skills’, and ‘small business management skills’. The essence of the study revealed through the emergent themes of the participants’ experiences in the workplace was ‘Lifelong learning’ and ‘Variety within career portfolios’, and this in turn enabled the participants to experience ‘Financial sustainability’.
- Humanities