An investigation into the motivation of South African orchestral musicians studying at tertiary level

Kühn, Reghardt (2018-03)

Thesis (MMus)--Stellenbosch University, 2018

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The conductor of an orchestra or ensemble plays an important role in the motivation of orchestral musicians. It is commonly known that musicians in orchestras work in highly pressured environments which could take its toll on them mentally and physically. As a conductor, I wanted to understand the motivational levels of orchestral players studying at tertiary institutions in South Africa from the perspective of the Self-Determination Theory. Knowing the level of motivation experienced by musicians, could assist the conductor in creating strategies to efficiently and positively influence the orchestra. There have been previous studies into the stress and motivational aspects musicians experience during their transitions from school level through to the professional stage, however, none consider the South African context. Thus, additional studies are required to understand the orchestral environment within in this specific context, as well as to provide a structured methodology that the conductor could use in order to understand and positively influence the motivation of their orchestra. This study evaluated the motivation of musicians (N=53) through the lens of the Self- Determination Theory, not only to describe whether the musicians are motivated, but to indicate the quality and internalisation of the motivation they are experiencing. A quantitative study was done by means of a survey consisting of 65 questions, synthesised through two mini-theories of the Self-Determination Theory, namely the Basic Psychological Needs Theory, and the Organismic Integration Theory. The survey was distributed to students from five South African universities with active symphony orchestras, or comparable ensembles. Statistical results show that musicians do experience intrinsic motivation more than extrinsic motivation within the orchestral environment, however, the intrinsic motivation experienced is negatively affected during final stages within the course of the undergraduate degree, indicating that motivation becomes more extrinsically driven at critical stages.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die dirigent van ʼn orkes of ensemble speel ʼn baie belangrike rol in die motivering van orkesmusikante. Dit is algemeen bekend dat orkesmusikante in geweldige spanningsvolle omgewings werk, wat direkte nagevolge vir hul fisiese- en geestesgesondheid kan hê. As dirigent, wou ek verstaan wat die motiveringsvlakke van tersiêre musiekstudente in Suid- Afrika is, deur middel van die “Self-Determination Theory”. ʼn Deeglike begrip van die motiveringsvlakke wat deur musikante ervaar word, kan die dirigent help om strategieë te ontwikkel wat die orkes op positiewe en effektiewe maniere kan beïnvloed. Daar is bestaande navorsing oor die vlakke van stres en motivering wat musikante deurlopend tydens hul loopbane ervaar, vanaf skoolvlak tot en met professionele uitvoeringsvlak, maar bestaande studies verwys nie na die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks nie. Daar is dus ʼn behoefte aan bykomende navorsing om die orkestriële omgewing binne hierdie spesifieke konteks te verstaan, sowel as om ʼn metodologie te ontwikkel wat deur die dirigent gebruik kan word om hul orkes se motiveringsvlakke te verstaan en positief te kan beïnvloed. Hierdie studie het die “Self-Determination Theory” as ʼn lens aangewend om die motiveringsvlakke van musikante (N=53) te evalueer. Die studie het veral gefokus op die kwaliteit en internalisering van die motivering wat musikante ervaar. ʼn Kwantitatiewe studie is gedoen wat bestaan het uit ʼn opname van 65 vrae, saamgestel uit twee mini-teorieë van die “Self-Determination Theory”, naamlik, die “Basic Psychological Needs Theory”, en die “Organismic Integration Theory”. Die opname is versprei onder studente aan vyf Suid- Afrikaanse universiteite wat aktiewe simfonieorkeste of vergelykbare ensembles het. Statistiese resultate wys dat die musikante meer intrinsieke as ekstrinsieke motiversingsvlakke binne die orkestriële omgewing ervaar, maar dat hul intrinsieke motiveringsvlakke negatief beïnvloed word tydens die finale tydperk van die voorgraadse program. Die uitslae het aangedui dat die musikante meer neig na ekstrinsieke motiveringsvlakke op kritieke stadiums van hul opleiding.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103698
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