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Getting ‘Capital’ in the music world: musicians’ learning experiences and working lives

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 September 2010

Abstract

This paper discusses an exploration of the working lives of musicians working in a range of musical genres in the North East of England, revealing the factors that contribute to their ability to obtain a musical livelihood. These factors can be understood in terms of various forms of social, cultural and symbolic ‘capital’ (Bourdieu, 1986), which musicians amass throughout their lives, from early childhood and family influences to starting out in the music world and beyond. The accrual of such ‘musical capital’ is shown to be associated with the quality of musicians’ learning experiences and the findings are offered as having potential relevance to music education policy and practice. It is concluded that a wider range of teaching methods, including the recognition of different types of music and ability, could encourage more young people to remain involved in music learning and give musicians clearer signposts for embarking on a career in music.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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