The Experience of Authenticity Across Three Music Disciplines; Music Therapy, Music Teaching and Music Performance
Preliminary Findings of a Phenomenological Interview Study
Keywords:authenticity; inauthenticity; music therapy; music teaching; music education; music performance
Across music disciplines, authenticity has been referred to in various ways. Within music therapy and music teaching, only sparsely has it been discussed focusing on the intrapersonal aspects of authenticity. This study seeks to explore and understand authenticity as experienced and expressed by three music professionals practicing within the areas of music therapy, music teaching, and music performance, the goal being primarily to deepen, enrich, and understand the authenticity experience to possibly benefit professionals and their clients, students, and audiences. Three music professionals holding various professional backgrounds were selected based on their assumed ability to reflect on this rather philosophical topic. Preparatory materials were sent out to participants prior to conducting two semi-structured interviews – 1 solo interview and 1 group interview. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed through a thematic coding analysis revealing four meta themes: 1) paradoxes in language and action, 2) imbalance and inauthenticity, 3) roles, relationships, masks, and 4) the field of authenticity. Findings were discussed with chosen theory synthesizing the experience of authenticity as being associated with several interconnected elements: relationship (with self and others), role (self-chosen and assigned), context (role fits the context), professionalism (having skills needed, letting go of control), and personality (transparent persona).
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