The effect of age on student reasons for continuing or discontinuing membership in school string ensembles



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This study sought to discover what reasons were important to students when deciding to continue membership in a school orchestra program. A survey was developed by the researcher, based on ten predicting factors of continuation or discontinuation identified by Allen (1981), Morehouse (1987), and Papinchak (1992). Orchestra students in grades six through twelve (N = 65) responded to this survey first by checking from a list the reasons they thought ?other students? would continue or discontinue with orchestra, and then by indicating how important each reason was to their own decision on a five point Likert-type scale. The main difference found between middle school and high school responses is the degree to which reasons emerged as significant; the differences between the reasons were larger for older students. Also, it appeared that middle schoolers were more concerned with strictly musical aspects of orchestra class, while high schoolers placed importance on both musical and extra-musical aspects.