During the fall 2011 a co-operation between The Symphonic Wind Band at School of music Ingesund, and the Military Wind Band in Karlskrona was started. The project offers unique possibilities to study how musical knowledge within a specific area, is mediated and developed in the meeting between these two communities of practice. The over arching aim with the study is to conceptualise and define professional musical knowledge among wind band musicians, and how these are mediated and developed in the meeting between professionals and students. The study can be defined as ethnographic, and includes interviews and video observations, combined with log book writings. The participants have been encouraged to write log books where they describe and reflect upon on beforehand defined aspects connected to identity development, based on the knowledge they develop during the period, and especially in the meeting with the professional orchestra. In addition to that, observations of common rehearsals have been video recorded. The participants will also be interviewed based upon the content in the log books, and the first analysis of the video recordings.
A community of practice can be defined as a group within a profession that is held together by common interests, a passionate aim, and which is interacting continually. Communities can be constituted within an organisation, or between organisations. They can be formal and informal and human beings can be connected to several communities at the same time. They are different from other groups as they are working for the development, education and exchange of the participants. They can also change their agendas to suit their participants and they work for development of professional competence and mediating of good practice. Hence, both individual and social identity development as well as learning is central within a community of practice. What knowledge and competence are valued as important, what forms of learning that are functional, and how activities can be organized is decided in being. A strong community is built upon mutual trust and respect, characterized by an interest in putting questions, change ideas, and listen. Frames, ideas, tools, styles, language, anecdotes, and documents create and re-create practice. New members are often peripheral and become as times runs more and more engaged in the mentioned activities. Based on these starting points the arenas that the orchestras of the investigation represent can be defined as communities of practice.
Wenger developed later the theory of communities of practice to also include the ability to learn, which underlines the individuals possibility to take care of learning outcomes from one community, and use and develop them within and between others, through learning trajectories. Learning trajectories are connecting learning of individuals to learning systems. If an education program is seen as a learning system, organisation for education can include making learning trajectories possible, and by that increase possibilities for the individual to learn and by that handle his or her life.
Participation in orchestras as a system can also be seen as connected to a larger system of social learning, where different orchestras and organisations exist and co-operate with one another. One question is how the ability to learn as a wind band musician which the education offers in the meeting with the professional orchestra to develop, function as a base for further careers as wind band musicians?
The specific aim of the study is to increase knowledge about professional knowledge within wind bands together with how that knowledge is mediated and developed within the meeting between students and professionals. To meet this aim the following research questions were formulated:
- What happens in the meeting between students and professional musicians with specific focus on musical knowledge in a holistic perspective?
- What educational approaches become visible in the meeting between peripheral and central parts of the wind band seen as a community of practice?
- What constitutes the military musical heritage and how it is taken care of and developed in the meeting and creation of a new common musical expression?
- How is choice of repertoire treated in the project?
The presentation will communicate the preliminary results of the study.