Psychosocial factors influencing participation in school music : the case of a typical former model C boys' high school in Durban, South Africa.
This short dissertation presents a case study of eleven students from a typical former 'Model C' single sex high school in Durban South Africa. At the time of the study, 2006, these were the only students who were actively availing themselves of the school's limited opportunities for studying and making music. The school, which shall remain anonymous, is shown to typify a psychosocial environment that is at best indifferent to active musical participation and, at worse, hostile to it. The study investigates how the attitudes towards, and the perceptions of, music involvement at the school emerge as stereotypical ways of thinking that are counter to the interests of its learners. This case study, supported by two questionnaires completed by peers and parents, and informed by the researcher's experience teaching Music at the school, generated conclusions from which explanations for the general reluctance of adolescent males to engage in specific kinds of school-based musical activities have been attempted. Informing the analysis and interpretation of the data is Erik Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development as it pertains to the psychosocial characteristics of adolescent males and provides an explanation as to the extent to which social environments can influence the individual. A close reading of the subjects' responses helps in the articulation of the generally unspoken assumptions of 'muscular Christianity', the Victorian ethos that continues to dominate in schools such as the one that formed the focus of this study, and which is still pervasive in many if not most South African schools.