The imprint of the experience of community music facilitators in Greece and Germany: a phenomenological approach

Ολοκτσίδου Ήβη, Κωνσταντάκου Κλειώ, Ακογιούνογλου Μίτσυ

Προφορική Ανακοίνωση

Session Η μουσική στην κοινότητα ( Saturday, 16-Apr-22 10:30:00 EEST )

The present research aims to identify and methodically study the lived experience of twelve musicians who are active as facilitators in community music groups in Greece and in Germany. The goal is to capture the individual, musical and  social identity of music facilitators and music leaders as it is subjectively presented within their narrations, and to record the skills that are needed to implement musical events in various community settings. Additionally, the similarities and differences of the experiences of musicians working as facilitators in the community in Greece and Germany are researched. 

As stated in the literature, community music, stems from social activism and, following the dictates of the times, evolves into an action, that aims at individual and collective change (Howell, Higgins & Bartleet, 2017). The four basic principles of community music - decentralization, accessibility, equal opportunities, musicking- make it a social yet political action (Olseng, 1990). Therefore, it requires the musicians to broaden their scope in order to respond to the wide range of society's needs (Carey & Coutts, 2021), as they are asked to be simultaneously educators, leaders, facilitators, organizers, creators and performers in order to be able to support musical actions at all levels in formal and informal music learning environments (Higgins & Bartleet, 2012). Subsequently, higher music education is called upon to respond and prepare multifaceted musicians and music educators, with autonomy in learning and musical action, socially responsible and with skills in leading and coordinating groups (Carey & Coutts, 2021).

The present qualitative research takes a phenomenological approach to capture and deepen into the lived experiences of the participants (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted with community music facilitators, from which six are active in Greece and six in Germany. Feasibility sampling was followed with the main criterion that three from each country had specialized studies on the subject matter and the other three had empirical musical knowledge. An additional criterion was that all of them run community music groups as active faciliators-coordinators.

The thematic analysis of the interviews was based on two axes: the points of convergence and divergence between the views of the community musicians in the two countries and the description of the participants' experiences according to their music educational background. A plurality in how music is defined in the community emerged from the analysis. In addition, interesting insights emerged about the different skills that seem to be required, such as emotional engagement, all-inclusivity, democratic functioning, breadth of musical skills, diverse competencies and the ability to organize and manage large groups. The differences focused on the community context, where community music projects are offered, the opportunities provided to run these projects and the studies required to implement them. 

In conclusion, concerns and reflections are expressed about this new and rapidly developing musical field, such as the new reality brought by the pandemic, the absence of educational programs focused exclusively on this field, the impossibility of finding competent professional employment frameworks in the community, without having to rely, as is usually the case, on the voluntary willingness of community music facilitators.  

  • Μουσικές εμπειρίες στο σχολείο, στο ωδείο και στην κοινότητα
  • Μουσικές εμπειρίες, δια βίου μουσική μάθηση και ευζωία
  • Μουσική αγωγή, κοινωνική δικαιοσύνη και ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα
Keywords music facilitator, community music, tertiary education, music identity, social identity
Language Ελληνική
Author(s) CV

Ivi Oloktsidou is a postgraduate student in the Department of Music Studies of the Ionian University, in the program "Music Education in Schools and the Community". She is a graduate of the Department of Early Childhood Education of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. In recent years she has been working in Munich, Germany, as a kindergarten teacher. She has worked as a volunteer at the pediatric clinic of the Ludwig Maximilian University offering music education to children in the context of creative activities. 

Clio Konstantakou  is a postgraduate student in the Department of Music Studies of the Ionian University, in the program "Music Education in Schools and the Community". She taught in the Music Education program for Infants and Toddlers of Ionian University. Through the Erasmus Program. She studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and worked voluntary at the Kindergarten of the National Greek School of Vienna. She is curently member of the Working Group of the Digital repository for the teaching of Greek language and music through the songs of Mariza Koch "Singing Greek". She teaches at the Philharmonic Society of Corfu and she works as a music facilitator at the Retirement Home "Platitera".

Mitsi Akoyunoglou, PhD, RMT, is a senior lecturer (under appointment) in the Department of Music Studies at Ionian University. She is the representative of the Hellenic Association of Professional Music Therapists to the European Music Therapy Confederation and the representative of EEME to the Music Teacher Associations in Europe. She is a member of the scientific committee of Mousikopaidagogika journal and a language consultant of Approaches: An Interdisciplinary journal of music therapy.