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date: 19 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the role played by adolescents in the American school band and highlights the meaning and value they derive from participation. The study is based on insights and personal narratives obtained from hardcore band kids. One interesting finding is that there are three major hierarchical strata in the band—hardcore members, the “middles,” and the “slackers”—with only the hardcores forming a true clique. The kids were passionate and sincere about the importance of music in general and band in particular. They characterized band as a social learning space where they could find identity, lose themselves in performing, and work with peers to meet goals more ambitious than they could ever accomplish individually.

Keywords: high school, school bands, teenagers, adolescents, American, band members, social learning, music

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