Specialist young musicians' role models: Whom do they admire and why?

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Previous research into adolescents' musical role models has shown that young people are more likely to identify a celebrity figure due to their image and perceived fame, than because of their musical ability. The current research is a development of Ivaldi and O'Neill's (Adolescents' musical role models: Whom do they admire and why?) study by exploring the role models of young dedicated musicians to see who they admire and why. One hundred and seventeen adolescents, aged 13–19, took part in a questionnaire study, drawn from both conservatoire (n=60) and county service (n=57) environments. Both famous and non-famous figures were identified, with the reasons relating to image, higher achievement and dedication. Adolescents’ beliefs and values for music were also explored in relation to their attainability and aspiration beliefs for becoming like their role model. The differences between the two studies are discussed in general, and the current picture of adolescents' musical role models is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-195
Number of pages16
JournalMusic Education Research
Issue number2
Early online date12 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • role models
  • young musicians
  • ability
  • famous and non-famous figures
  • attainability
  • aspirations


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