“It all makes us feel together”: young people's experiences of virtual group music-making during the COVID-19 pandemic

Levstek, Maruša, Barnby, Rubie Mai, Pocock, Katherine L and Banerjee, Robin (2021) “It all makes us feel together”: young people's experiences of virtual group music-making during the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. a703892 1-18. ISSN 1664-1078

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Abstract

We know little about the psychological experiences of children and young people who have participated in virtual group music-making during the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Adopting a mixed-methods design, we worked across three music education hubs in the UK, with a total 13 virtual music groups. These included a range of mainstream ensembles, inclusive ensembles targeting young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and inclusive music production spaces, targeting young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Reported progress in intra- and inter-personal psychological outcomes was investigated using quantitative and qualitative staff session reports, which were collected since before the pandemic (n1 for in-person sessions = 87, n2 for virtual sessions = 68), and surveys distributed to tutors, young people, and their parents during the first and second United Kingdom (UK) national lockdowns (n3 for qualitative responses = 240, n4 for quantitative responses = 96). Satisfaction of three basic psychological needs of self-determination theory and their relation to joint music-making in virtual spaces was also observed in real time by the researchers performing quantitative checklist observations on 16 separate occasions. Findings indicated that virtual music groups represented a meaningful psychological resource for the participating children and young people, especially considering the lack of opportunities offered by their schools and other extra-curricular activities. Through their participation with virtual group music-making activities, young people used music as a tool for self-expression and emotion management, restored lost musical identities and confidence, and preserved treasured social connections. Virtual alternatives to group music-making appear to indirectly nurture the sense of belongingness, mediated by supportive staff behaviors, but their direct connection, which has been widely reported for in-person group music-making experiences, has not been observed in virtual music groups.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: COVID-19, coping, group music-making, mixed-methods, school children, self-determination theory, virtual, young people
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2021 06:45
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 07:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/101578

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