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Music saved them they say

(2019)
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Abstract
Background: Socially oriented interventions in the developing world take a wide variety of forms. In particular, there has been an interest in interventions that support human resilience in challenging situations. In recent years music-making interventions have become increasingly popular across a wide spectrum of social deprivations and challenges. Although such interventions are often believed to have positive social impact, there is insufficient research on the impacts of long-term structured musical programmes on the recipients, particularly research informed by elaborated recipient testimony and detailed contextual understanding. Aim: This thesis in the field of social development studies aims to increase understanding of how the experience of structured musical education and practice can have an influence on the social conditions of young people, by examining in detail one specific local context, the often difficult living socio-economic conditions of Kinshasa (DR Congo). It also aims to increase understanding of the factors which motivate young people to persist in music-making over substantial periods of time, even when such activity appears not to improve critical aspects of their external (e.g. economic) conditions very much. Methods: A qualitative approach was taken to the field study of two long-term musical projects in Kinshasa, one for so-called ‘witch’-children (n = 22) both male and female between the ages of 16 and 23, and one involving former male gang members (n = 10) between the ages of 24 and 41. This involved observations and interviews (both group and individual) over a period of four years. A total of 175 hours of interview material was collected and 161 hours transcribed. Qualitative content analysis was undertaken on the transcriptions as well as extensive researcher case notes made during the field work. This allowed the identification and elaboration of key thematic strands. Results: The data demonstrated strong beliefs in both groups that becoming musicians played an important role in helping them navigate towards better positions in their social lives, some expressing this by saying that they were “saved by music”. Detailed analysis derived four important contributory elements to success in the discourses of the recipients: (1) a combination of artistic and psychosocial accompaniment from the leadership of the projects, (2) the experience of gaining mastery of an instrument and its music repertoire, (3) shared ownership and democratic organisation of the project, and (4) the intrinsic interest of making music as an activity in and for itself. Conclusions and implications: The research here offers support for the conclusion that music-making can be socially transformative, but that certain specific conditions may need to pertain for such transformation to be robust. Further research in other contexts is needed to clarify the generality of the factors discovered in these specific projects, but these results already provide pointers which may be useful for practitioners designing musical interventions in a range of social contexts.
Keywords
agency, artistic accompaniment, conflict, co-ownership, democracy, DR Congo, flow, focus groups, gangs, heterarchy, Kinshasa, life story interview, music, music learning, music teaching, narrative research, participatory observation, play, poverty, practitioner-researcher, psychosocial accompaniment, qualitative descriptive research, resilience, social change, social development studies, social impact of music-making (SIMM), social inclusion, social work, socio-economic disadvantage, sociology, street children, violence, witch children, youth delinquency

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Pairon, Lukas. “Music Saved Them They Say.” 2019 : n. pag. Print.
APA
Pairon, L. (2019). Music saved them they say. Lukas Pairon, Ghent.
Chicago author-date
Pairon, Lukas. 2019. “Music Saved Them They Say”. Ghent: Lukas Pairon.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Pairon, Lukas. 2019. “Music Saved Them They Say”. Ghent: Lukas Pairon.
Vancouver
1.
Pairon L. Music saved them they say. [Ghent]: Lukas Pairon; 2019.
IEEE
[1]
L. Pairon, “Music saved them they say,” Lukas Pairon, Ghent, 2019.
@phdthesis{8617382,
  abstract     = {Background:
Socially oriented interventions in the developing world take a wide variety of forms.  In particular, there has been an interest in interventions that support human resilience in challenging situations. In recent years music-making interventions have become increasingly popular across a wide spectrum of social deprivations and challenges.  Although such interventions are often believed to have positive social impact, there is insufficient research on the impacts of long-term structured musical programmes on the recipients, particularly research informed by elaborated recipient testimony and detailed contextual understanding.

Aim:  
This thesis in the field of social development studies aims to increase understanding of how the experience of structured musical education and practice can have an influence on the social conditions of young people, by examining in detail one specific local context, the often difficult living socio-economic conditions of Kinshasa (DR Congo). It also aims to increase understanding of the factors which motivate young people to persist in music-making over substantial periods of time, even when such activity appears not to improve critical aspects of their external (e.g. economic) conditions very much.

Methods: 
A qualitative approach was taken to the field study of two long-term musical projects in Kinshasa, one for so-called ‘witch’-children (n = 22) both male and female between the ages of 16 and 23, and one involving former male gang members (n = 10) between the ages of 24 and 41.  This involved observations and interviews (both group and individual) over a period of four years.  A total of 175 hours of interview material was collected and 161 hours transcribed. Qualitative content analysis was undertaken on the transcriptions as well as extensive researcher case notes made during the field work. This allowed the identification and elaboration of key thematic strands. 

Results: 
The data demonstrated strong beliefs in both groups that becoming musicians played an important role in helping them navigate towards better positions in their social lives, some expressing this by saying that they were “saved by music”. Detailed analysis derived four important contributory elements to success in the discourses of the recipients: 
(1) a combination of artistic and psychosocial accompaniment from the leadership of the projects, (2) the experience of gaining mastery of an instrument and its music repertoire, (3) shared ownership and democratic organisation of the project, and (4) the intrinsic interest of making music as an activity in and for itself.

Conclusions and implications:
The research here offers support for the conclusion that music-making can be socially transformative, but that certain specific conditions may need to pertain for such transformation to be robust. Further research in other contexts is needed to clarify the generality of the factors discovered in these specific projects, but these results already provide pointers which may be useful for practitioners designing musical interventions in a range of social contexts.  
},
  author       = {Pairon, Lukas},
  keywords     = {agency,artistic accompaniment,conflict,co-ownership,democracy,DR Congo,flow,focus groups,gangs,heterarchy,Kinshasa,life story interview,music,music learning,music teaching,narrative research,participatory observation,play,poverty,practitioner-researcher,psychosocial accompaniment,qualitative descriptive research,resilience,social change,social development studies,social impact of music-making (SIMM),social inclusion,social work,socio-economic disadvantage,sociology,street children,violence,witch children,youth delinquency},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {242},
  publisher    = {Lukas Pairon},
  title        = {Music saved them they say},
  year         = {2019},
}