Breaking the Cycle: Predicting String Orchestra Recruiting Behaviors with the Theory of Planned Behavior




Ammerman, Angela D.

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This study investigates the influence of string teacher attitudes toward recruiting, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control on recruiting behaviors. Between 1962 and 1989 the number of public school string programs decreased by 50%. This decline suggests a significant shortcoming with regard to recruiting, retention, and advocacy for string. Fewer string programs means fewer string students, which means fewer sting majors and fewer string teachers. Further, a shortfall in the number of string teachers to serve existing orchestra programs means future program closures, leading to the eventual extinction of the public school string orchestra. Using the Theory of Planned Behavior, this paper employs hierarchical regressions to examine the current trends and biases within string orchestra recruiting and the relationships between recruiting behaviors and attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control. Results suggest that recruiting attitude has a significant impact on recruiting behaviors. Results also suggest a mixed relationship between subjective norms and recruiting behaviors in which those with higher subjective norms were more likely to reach out to potential students, but less likely to organize a recruiting concert. Implications are that institutions of higher education and professional music education organizations could provide recruiting courses and experiences in order to improve recruiting attitudes, thus leading to an increase in recruiting behaviors.



Music education, Marketing, Social research, Behaviors, Orchestra, Recruiting, Recruiting orchestra, Strings, Teacher behaviors