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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Barbara Resch


Department of Music Education

University Affiliation

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne


According to the Audience Demographic Review (2009) conducted by the League of American Orchestras, “The overall classical music participation rate of the U.S. adult population has decreased consistently between 1982 and 2008.” Many studies done in the past five years reflect an even steeper decrease that can be attributed to the financial crisis, but it is clear that audiences had become disengaged before the recession. One of the primary challenges facing modern orchestras is remaining loyal to long-time patrons and keeping the traditions of classical music alive while also engaging new audiences who are living in a new technological era. To bridge this gap, orchestras have begun investing in educational programs as a way to both assist music education professionals and cultivate future audiences from the students of today. In this pilot project, the researcher has traveled to retirement facilities in the Fort Wayne area. After attending an on-site concert of classical music given by musicians from Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne, residents were given the opportunity to complete a short, voluntary, and anonymous survey. This survey gathered residents’ reactions to the day’s program, their childhood music education experiences, and their current tastes for classical music. The researcher will be presenting the findings from these surveys.

In the data collected through the Classical Connections project, there was no statistical significance in the link between music education as a child and classical concert attendance as an older adult; however, the data did show that classical concert attendance as a youth and classical concert attendance as an older adult were positively correlated, suggesting that habits of classical music attendance may be influential. By comparing past music experiences with current attitudes about classical music, the researcher hopes to continue more clearly defining a link between a well-rounded, comprehensive music education while in school and a lifelong enjoyment of and active attendance at classical music concerts.


Arts and Humanities | Music

Classical Connections

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