Could clapping along with the music at a school concert be a form of advocacy?

In this new documentary film from the LiveLab at McMaster University in Canada, PhD researcher Dana Swarbrick created an experiment to explore how audience participation changes the impact of a concert experience.

In education, we sometimes include audience participation in our concerts, but it may not be as significant as in a concert by adult professional musicians. Simple participation ideas like clapping along with the music can be something we could do in school concerts, but what difference could this make?

This study found that clapping along with the music fostered a feeling of connectedness between the performer and the audience. Could we as music educators improve the sense of connection between our student performers and their parents and family if we consciously included audience participation in our concerts? Furthermore, could this be a form of stealth advocacy that helps develop our connection with the parent community, with the view of gaining genuine support for the work we do?

Watch the documentary here

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