Music and community development: perspectives on relationships, roles and structures in music in community

Foster, Duncan (2010) Music and community development: perspectives on relationships, roles and structures in music in community. Research Master thesis, Victoria University.


This thesis explores sites where music occurs in community in Melbourne’s West by examining perspectives around the various inherent relationships, roles and structures involved. It does so through a prism of the researcher’s own collaborative work with others in educational, professional and community settings via the collection of respondent data around general questions about music, culture, education, technology and community. Arguments for the intrinsically beneficial impact of music in community are presented as well as critical assessment as to the possibilities for structures and strategies to enhance its proliferation for the greater good. In the course of the research, a range of musical participants who are or have been musically active with the researcher were interviewed and/or engaged in group discussions around aspects of their musical experiences. Their responses were categorized into key arenas of enquiry, to some extent predetermined by the interview questions, but also according to emerging themes in respondent data. The study was driven by a perceived need to address clarity of roles and structures that can support leadership in musical activity while resourcing opportunities for effective and accessible participation, and the importance of these concerns was subsequently borne out by the interviewees contributions to the study. It was clear from the study that participants placed great value on the opportunity to practice music and to explore their musical potential to a satisfactory or satisfying degree, and all offered suggestions on how this may be more readily achieved. The significance of these findings is that they support an emerging possible model for the delivery of music outcomes in community that revolves around common spaces for musical practice, educational opportunities and effective relational structures to economically support musical leadership.

Additional Information

Master of Education

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing
Historical > FOR Classification > 1301 Education Systems
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Education
Keywords music, community, Melbourne, Western Melbourne, Footscray
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