The Leader of the Band
Music learning takes place in innumerable formal and informal settings, offering an array of contexts in which youth development can be supported. In countries across the world, conducted large ensembles are a predominant setting for music learning within formal music education efforts at schools and in more informal venues outside of schools. While some adolescent American music students enjoy varied contexts for their school music study, most formal music education opportunities for the learners occur in a large ensemble setting. Ensemble leaders in many of music learning settings replicate experiences and approaches common to professional performance ensembles where students are to take on the role of “performer.” Proponents tout the positive outcomes for adolescents involved in music study and have found that music study can enhance positive outcomes particularly for marginalized or underserved youth. However, teacher dispositions supporting historical conductor-centered leadership practice contribute to issues regarding access, equity, and inclusion for underserved student populations.