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Learning through praise: How Christian worship band musicians learn

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Popular music education continues to increase in North American educational settings. While popular music teaching and learning are recognized in a variety of contexts, contemporary Christian church praise bands have not been significantly addressed in music education literature. In addressing this gap, the purpose of this study is to examine the musicking practices occurring in the contemporary worship music (CWM) context and how these lead contemporary Christian musicians to acquire and develop their musical skills. Green’s five principles of informal music learning were found to apply in part, yet other distinctive features were also present in study findings. Themes such as elitism, excellence, hierarchies of musical engagement, and inclusion/exclusion of worshippers and the congregation also arose, providing interesting areas for future research.
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Keywords: contemporary worship music; learning; music education; musicking; praise bands; teaching

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Western University

Publication date: December 1, 2019

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  • The main aims of Journal of Popular Music Education, especially initially, will be iteratively to define the parameters of the field and disciplines of its readership and contributors (especially with regard to other journals in popular music and music education), this being an emerging field of scholarship and practice. The other principal aim will be to disseminate excellent critique and other forms of scholarship (e.g. phenomenological) in and related to the field. The journal will have an inclusive, global reach. 'Education' and 'popular music' are terms that we expect to be stretched and problematized through rigorous examination from multiple international perspectives.
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