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Open Access The Performance and Financial Expectations of College Students Majoring in Jazz

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The purpose of the current study was to investigate the expectations for musical performance styles and income for college students majoring in jazz. A questionnaire was developed and pilot tested to establish test-retest reliability. Prior to pilot testing, the questionnaire was submitted to a panel of experts to determine content validity. The revised questionnaire was then administered to the population (N=249) of students majoring in jazz at a large university. Eighty-five percent (85%) were returned.

Results indicated a disparity between the musical styles that students preferred to play and the musical styles they realistically expected to play in order to earn an income. While 67% preferred to play jazz, only 24% realistically expected to play jazz. Alternatively, while only 12% preferred to play anything that pays, 32% expected to play anything that pays. There was a statistically significant difference between subjects preferred and expected music performance styles. There was a significant difference in expected income between males and females.

Overall, this study indicates that there was a difference in the styles of music that college jazz musicians preferred and expected to play in order to earn a comfortable income. The majority of students preferred to play jazz yet expected to play anything that pays.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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  • Research Perspectives in Music Education is the peer-reviewed biannual research journal of the Florida Music Educators Association. The journal publishes music education research using qualitative, quantitative, philosophical, historical, or theoretical methodologies and also reviews of literature with critical synthesis.
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