Aspects of Ensemble Participation and Feelings of Belonging Among New Horizons Members


Contributions to Music Education




The purpose of this study was to determine what routine aspects of ensemble participation, if any, activated New Horizons members' feelings of belonging. Members of two New Horizons ensembles responded to an anonymous-online questionnaire in which they indicated the degree with which they agreed with statements that linked specific aspects of ensemble participation with their feelings of belonging. Participants' (N = 31) responses indicated that playing in performances, attending rehearsals, being included in group emails, receiving written and verbal recognition, and participating in ensemble-related social media activated their feelings of belonging. Exclusion from group emails and lack of recognition were most frequently reported as negatively affecting participants' feelings of belonging. Handling these routine aspects of ensemble participation with care and attention may provide opportunities to support New Horizons members' feelings of belonging. Recommendations for supporting feelings of belonging are discussed.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Playing an Instrument; Questionnaires

Indexed Terms

Mental health; Older people; Social support; Participation; Self esteem; Adults; Social networks; Music education; Questionnaires

Study Type

Case Study; Qualitative Methods

Document Type


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