JOB SATISFACTION AMONG FREELANCE SCHOOL CONDUCTORS IN NEW SOUTH WALES

Luke Kenneth Gilmour

LMusA, LRSM, BMus, GradDipEd

A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney

2012

Originality Statement
I declare that the research presented here is my own original work and has not been submitted to any other institution for the award of a degree.

Signed: .......................................................................................

Date: ...........................................................................................

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Abstract
Freelance musicians who conduct ensembles of school children are an essential and vibrant part of the music education landscape in New South Wales (NSW) schools (Hardy, 2006; Pascoe et al., 2005). Freelance school conductors (FSCs) can be found working in every type of school environment in NSW—public, private, primary and secondary. The kinds of ensembles that they direct include concert bands, jazz ensembles, orchestras and choirs. This project aims to explore the background of freelance school conductors through a mixed-methods research study involving 50 survey participants and 3 case study interviews. Phase one of the study involved online delivery of a questionnaire to the FSC community in NSW. The participants (N=50) included those working in public and private schools, male and female, and represented a broad range of ages. To reflect the specialisation that occurs in the profession, conductors from both instrumental and choral backgrounds as well as classical and jazz directors were included in the project. The design of the questionnaire was derived from a number of existing sources including personal reflection, in an attempt to provide an overview of the FSC profession. The second qualitative phase involved three FSCs at different stages in their career. Each participant was interviewed for approximately 40-60 minutes with the data collected used to provide a rich description of three conductors. That is, those who are motivated, highly professional and earning above-average incomes. Whilst passionate about music and their role in educating children, the lack of organisation in FSC employment conditions, training, and career development may lead to deterioration in their job satisfaction (Heston, Dedrick, Raschke, & Whitehead, 1996) and burnout through emotional and physical exhaustion (Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001). Stress within the lives of freelance school conductors may also be brought about by the tension that exists between the identity of musicians as performers, musicians as educators and musicians as entrepreneurs (Bennett, 2008b; Bouij, 2004; Bridgstock, 2011a; Roberts, 1991; Scheib, 2006a).

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Acknowledgments
The completion of this thesis would not have been possible without the contribution of a great many people. I would like to thank Dr James Renwick for his role over the last three years as my dissertation supervisor. His guidance and assistance in providing rigour to my questionnaire design and overarching lines of inquiry was invaluable. This project would not have been possible without his patience, advice and generous encouragement. I would also like to thank Dr Helen Mitchell, whose template was used in the preparation of this thesis. Alongside this thesis has been the performance component of my DMA, supervised by Professor Imre Palló. I consider it an honour to have studied conducting with Maestro Palló and thank him for opening up my ears and teaching me to lead musicians. As a musician, your career is always the result of others investment in you. Mine is no different. I am forever indebted to my parents for buying me my first saxophone and setting me on the road for an exciting journey ahead. To my saxophone tutors, Lindsay Frost, James Nightingale and Mark Walton thank you for your inspiration. Similarly, as a conductor working in schools I am, like those in this study, a result of being inspired by other conductors whilst a student. I wish to thank Dr Robert Busan, Russell Hammond and Stephen Williams for their mentoring and guidance both initially as a student and now as someone in the career of school-based conducting. I wish to express my appreciation to all the freelance school conductors who participated in this project for giving up their time and sharing their personal views of the world in which they make music. I particularly wish to acknowledge the contribution of my three case-study participants—Ruth, Ken and Daniel. Finally, I am forever grateful for the support of my wife and two sons over the last four years. A lot of family time has been sacrificed in the completion of this Doctorate but it has always been viewed as an investment in our future together. To my boys, I look forward to much more cricket in the backyard now! To my wife, Vanessa, thank you so much for your faith in me.

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Table of Contents
Originality Statement .................................................................................................................ii! Abstract .....................................................................................................................................iii! Acknowledgments ..................................................................................................................... iv! Table of Contents ....................................................................................................................... v! List of Figures ........................................................................................................................... ix! List of Tables.............................................................................................................................. x! Chapter 1 : Introduction ............................................................................................................. 1!
Context of the research ........................................................................................................................ 2! Freelance school conductors (FSC)................................................................................................. 2! Training of FSCs ............................................................................................................................. 3! Significance ......................................................................................................................................... 4! Problem statement................................................................................................................................ 6! Outline of research questions............................................................................................................... 6! Methodology ........................................................................................................................................ 7! Delimitations........................................................................................................................................ 7! Summary .............................................................................................................................................. 7!

Chapter 2 : Literature Review .................................................................................................... 9!
Context and background to the FSC situation in NSW schools .......................................................... 9! Job satisfaction of the self-employed................................................................................................. 11! Factors affecting the job satisfaction of freelance school conductors ............................................... 13! Stress.............................................................................................................................................. 14! Role stress...................................................................................................................................... 15! Burnout .......................................................................................................................................... 16! Employment conditions................................................................................................................. 17! Administrative support .................................................................................................................. 19! Professional development.............................................................................................................. 20! Summary ............................................................................................................................................ 23!

Chapter 3 : Methodology.......................................................................................................... 24!
Worldview ..................................................................................................................................... 24! The sequential explanatory mixed methods design....................................................................... 24! Ethical considerations and requirements ........................................................................................... 25!

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Quantitative strand ............................................................................................................................. 26! Survey participants and sampling.................................................................................................. 26! Recruitment ................................................................................................................................... 26! Survey............................................................................................................................................ 27! Job Descriptive Index .................................................................................................................... 29! Fimian Teacher Stress Inventory................................................................................................... 29! Boyle Teacher Stress Inventory..................................................................................................... 30! Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI)—General Survey, Education Survey .................................... 30! Data analysis.................................................................................................................................. 30! Qualitative strand ............................................................................................................................... 31! Participants and sampling.............................................................................................................. 31! Interviews ...................................................................................................................................... 31! Data collection............................................................................................................................... 31! Data analysis.................................................................................................................................. 32! Validity and reliability ....................................................................................................................... 32! Summary ............................................................................................................................................ 32!

Chapter 4 : Survey Results ....................................................................................................... 34!
Demographic profile of FSCs ............................................................................................................ 34! Education and Professional Association ....................................................................................... 35! The working week ......................................................................................................................... 36! Employment conditions................................................................................................................. 39! Income ........................................................................................................................................... 40! Pre-service training ............................................................................................................................ 46! Ongoing professional development ................................................................................................... 47! Financial motivation...................................................................................................................... 47! Qualification enhancement............................................................................................................ 48! Networking .................................................................................................................................... 49! Inspiration to become a FSC.............................................................................................................. 49! Job satisfaction................................................................................................................................... 50! Factors contributing to FSC job satisfaction ................................................................................. 53! Stress and burnout ......................................................................................................................... 55! Working-environment perceptions ................................................................................................ 57! FSC future perceptions .................................................................................................................. 59! Summary ............................................................................................................................................ 59!

Chapter 5 : Case-study Interviews............................................................................................ 61!
Introducing the case studies—Ruth, Ken and Daniel ........................................................................ 61!

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Ruth ............................................................................................................................................... 61! Ken ................................................................................................................................................ 63! Daniel ............................................................................................................................................ 63! Training, Accreditation, Networking and Professional Development............................................... 65! Pre-service and early career training ............................................................................................. 65! Ongoing professional development............................................................................................... 66! Accreditation ................................................................................................................................. 68! Networking .................................................................................................................................... 69! Conditions of engagement ................................................................................................................. 70! Financial ........................................................................................................................................ 70! Superannuation and other conditions ............................................................................................ 72! Artists as entrepreneurs...................................................................................................................... 73! Attitudes towards their work and job satisfaction ............................................................................. 74! Working environment.................................................................................................................... 74! Working with parents .................................................................................................................... 75! Working with students................................................................................................................... 76! Appreciation, recognition and respect........................................................................................... 78! Burnout and stress ......................................................................................................................... 80! Overall job satisfaction.................................................................................................................. 81! The future........................................................................................................................................... 83! Summary ............................................................................................................................................ 84!

Chapter 6 : General Discussion and Conclusions .................................................................... 85!
Nature of the profession..................................................................................................................... 85! The portfolio FSC.......................................................................................................................... 86! Job satisfaction of FSCs..................................................................................................................... 87! Training ......................................................................................................................................... 87! Appreciation and respect ............................................................................................................... 88! Autonomy ...................................................................................................................................... 89! Remuneration and extra work ....................................................................................................... 89! Burnout and stress ......................................................................................................................... 89! Educational implications.................................................................................................................... 90! Freelance versus salaried............................................................................................................... 91! Implications for further research........................................................................................................ 92! Conclusion ......................................................................................................................................... 94!

Abbreviations ........................................................................................................................... 96! References ................................................................................................................................ 97! vii

Appendix A : Ethics Approval Letter..................................................................................... 103! Appendix B : Participant Information Statements ................................................................. 105! Appendix C : Consent Forms ................................................................................................. 109! Appendix D : Questionnaire (Online) .................................................................................... 111! Appendix E : Interview Protocol............................................................................................ 121!
Interview topics................................................................................................................................ 121! Background.................................................................................................................................. 121! Employment Conditions.............................................................................................................. 121! Professional Development........................................................................................................... 122! Job Satisfaction............................................................................................................................ 122!

Appendix F : Scripts............................................................................................................... 124!
Email invitation................................................................................................................................ 124! Website invitation ............................................................................................................................ 125! Script for phone invitation ............................................................................................................... 125!

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List of Figures
Figure 1. Sequential explanatory design (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011, p. 121) ....25! Figure 2. FSC hourly involvement each week ...........................................................39!

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List of Tables
Table 1. Years working as a FSC ...............................................................................35! Table 2. FSC weekly school involvement ...................................................................37! Table 3. FSC weekly student interaction....................................................................37! Table 4. Rate per hour of freelance conducting.........................................................41! Table 5. Rate per hour of administration ...................................................................41! Table 6. Percentage of annual income derived from FSC .........................................42! Table 7. Annual income from FSC .............................................................................42! Table 8. Other work during term................................................................................44! Table 9. Other work during school holidays..............................................................45! Table 10. Influence of remuneration conditions on job satisfaction..........................45! Table 11. Perceptions of training success..................................................................46! Table 12. Perceptions of professional development and type of groups....................48! Table 13. FSC perceptions of tertiary postgraduate training ....................................49! Table 14. Factors influencing FSC career choice .....................................................50! Table 15. How FSCs feel about their situation ..........................................................51! Table 16. Factors contributing to FSC job satisfaction.............................................54! Table 17. Stress and burnout feedback ......................................................................55! Table 18. Sources of stress .........................................................................................56! Table 19. Attitudes towards remuneration .................................................................58! Table 20. FSC view of the future................................................................................59

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Chapter 1: Introduction
As a freelance school conductor (FSC) and student researcher, this study has personal significance for me. As with many of my colleagues, the journey through which I became a freelance conductor in schools was fragmented. Upon graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, with a Bachelor of Music (Performance) and Classical Saxophone as my major, I quickly discovered that the only form of full-time, salaried performance work was with the Australian Defence Force bands. I proceeded to join the Royal Australian Navy Band and stayed with them for five years. Then, with the desire to start a family came an aversion to spending extended time away from home. I was also getting restless with being employed and sought the autonomy or at least perceived autonomy of ‘being my own boss’ rather than answering to a rank structure. Thus, I left the relative security of a full-time performing position as a government employee, with all its benefits, to embark on a career as a freelance conductor, deriving the majority of my income from working in schools. I had a desire to be a school conductor having been inspired by a couple of dynamic visiting conductors when growing up in country New South Wales, Australia. This project is thus part autoethnographic in nature as I seek to explore what I, and people like me, do as freelance conductors working with school children in New South Wales (NSW). It is also my own experience with the challenges of achieving life balance and job satisfaction that provided the impetus for this present study. At the time of undertaking my doctoral studies I was in my early thirties and had a varied employment structure. My working week included ensemble program leadership at two public schools as well as conducting duties at a community choir, community orchestra, tertiary institution, an additional secondary school and occasional work with the NSW Department of Education Arts Unit on specific projects. I conducted on average 350 students and 80 adults each week and had responsibility for 25 instrumental tutors. At each place of employment were different conditions and contracts. The itinerant nature of my week required extensive travelling including working in three different locations on three days of the week. In addition to completing my doctoral studies, this schedule proved to be unsustainable and

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resulted in me burning out and consulting a medical professional about my lifestyle and state of mental health. Each of the three case-study participants, referred to later in the study, also indicated that they had burnt-out at times.

Context of the research
Freelance school conductors (FSC) There are many ways to describe the people that direct large ensembles in NSW schools. However, most people fall into two categories: 1) salaried classroom music teachers employed by the Department of Education or a private school and 2) those that are engaged in a freelance, casual or part-time basis, specifically to conduct a school ensemble. Further, for the purposes of this study, anyone involved as a ‘classroom teacher’, whether solely or in conjunction with freelance conducting, is someone who delivers the NSW Board of Studies Music Curriculum in a traditional classroom setting. This is in contrast to a conductor who is working in a large ensemble rehearsal and performance setting and has no set curriculum or guidelines to follow, other than those which are self-imposed and created. Interestingly, this self-generated curriculum is often reflective of a hidden curriculum, guided by competition preparation, new repertoire reading days and collegial discussion surrounding appropriate music selection. Unlike the formal large ensemble programs in America, which operate as part of the curriculum, policies vary throughout the Australian education system. The Australian state of Queensland offers a formal structured ensemble and instrumental instruction curriculum, staffed by salaried instrumental educators/conductors (QLD Department of Education, 1990, 2012). The state of Western Australia also offers a structured School of Instrumental Music, which services 400 primary and secondary government schools. In NSW there is no mandated curriculum by the NSW Board of Studies for large ensemble rehearsals, hence their definition as being extracurricular or cocurricular activities. In addition, rehearsals for these ensembles often occur on a weekly or bi-weekly basis as opposed to the common practice of daily rehearsals in the American system. In Hardy’s (2006) study on factors that influence the success of large music ensembles in NSW public schools, 80% of the respondent directors were classified in the first category of being salaried classroom teachers who directed their ensembles 2

outside of school hours. The present study is focussed on the ‘other’ category of directors or conductors who operate in a freelance capacity and is not limited to public secondary schools. For the purposes of this study, someone who is regarded as a school conductor is one who has leadership responsibility for direction of an ensemble musical rehearsal. That is, private tutors who teach on a one-on-one (or small group) the fundamentals of learning an instrument fall outside the scope of this study. The concept of freelance is somewhat harder to define due to the disparate nature of how conductors are engaged to work in a school. In this study, I have further defined freelance school conductors as: • • • • primarily engaged in the state of NSW conductors working with school age children in a school and/or community environment; having some or all of their regular income derived from contract, casual or part-time salaried work as a freelance school conductor; not employed exclusively as full-time salaried classroom teachers. Freelance school conductors can be found working in every type of school environment in NSW—public, private, primary and secondary. The kinds of ensembles that they direct are predominantly concert bands, jazz ensembles, orchestras and choirs. Training of FSCs There currently exists a fragmented approach to professional development of conductors in Australia, with little attention given to training as it relates to a school environment. There is no professional development framework for freelance school conductors in NSW (Hardy, 2006). This is in stark contrast to classroom teachers, who have a tertiary pre-service pathway as well as an ongoing accreditation, mentoring and professional development pathway through the NSW Institute of Teachers. To establish an effective professional development and career framework requires advocacy and a need for freelance school conductors to be part of a professional organisation (Jacobs, 2008; Scheib, 2006a). The Australian Band and Orchestra Directors Association (ABODA) regularly provides in-service training in the form of conducting workshops and newsletters as well as state and national conferences. Its listed goals include

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advocacy, networking, professional development design and implementation (ABODA, 2010). Similarly, the Australian National Choral Association (ANCA— www.anca.org.au) aims to provide support for choral organisations (predominantly community-based). This support exists in the form of a members network, website and professional workshops and conferences such as their national Choral Fest. In NSW public schools, one of the aims of the government-backed NSW Arts Unit is to “build the capacity of teachers to deliver arts education through targeted professional learning” (The Arts Unit, 2011) Whilst the programs do provide opportunities for freelance conductors to engage with training opportunities, the Arts Unit exists primarily to support classroom teachers and schools within the NSW Department of Education. In 2011, The Arts Unit expanded its focus beyond public education and invited all school conductors (public, private and community) to participate in a two-day Wind Conducting Workshop and one-day Jazz Directing workshop. This is a promising development and one that has continued in 2012. Symphony Australia (www.symphony.net.au) runs a targeted, auditioned program for developing conductors of professional orchestras as well as a one-week course for school and community conductors called “The Beat Starts Here”. However, this second ‘entry-level’ course is more of a technique development program rather than addressing any pedagogical training. Further research needs to be done into the proportion of school conductors who belong to professional organisations, such as ABODA or ANCA as well as their involvement in programs run by the Arts Unit and Symphony Australia. The perceived effectiveness of these groups in terms of advocacy and professional development also needs to be investigated.

Significance
The significance of this study lies in its specific focus on those music educators in NSW school environments who provide large ensemble music instruction via a freelance working arrangement. Hardy (2006) made a number of recommendations relating to conductors’ training and employment conditions. In particular, his research suggested “large instrumental ensemble directors burn out at a fast rate and that the directors do not spend as much time addressing ensemble needs if they are not adequately reimbursed” (p. 177). Arising from Hardy’s (2006) research and

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earlier research overseas are concerns about job satisfaction, burnout and stress among band directors and music teachers (Benson, 2008; Heston et al., 1996; Scheib, 2003, 2004, 2006b). Some studies, essentially narrative in nature, have also attempted to provide solutions such as life balance, professional development, networking, exercise and improved workload management (Allsup, 2005; Hamann & Gordon, 2000; Hylton, 1989). This present study seeks to provide an overview of the freelance school conductor situation in NSW. It also attempts to provide rich descriptions of how FSCs in NSW view their career, job satisfaction and experience with stress and burnout. Findings from the National Review of Music Education (2005) confirm that employment conditions of freelance school conductors vary in each school. There is no standardised salary structure and many conductors are required to negotiate their own arrangements with no union support or guide. This ad-hoc arrangement may also have a negative consequence for the schools employing them, in that there are no formal qualifications required and more specifically no requirement for training in school-age pedagogy (Evans & Bodrova, 2011; Thompson, 1990). This present study surveys the current employment conditions and through interviews and comparisons with other systems attempts to point towards a future model for school conductors in NSW. Conductor training is also an area which deserves further research (Hardy, 2006). The sourcing of freelance conductors by schools is often similar to the recruitment of itinerant or peripatetic instrumental music teachers in that they are often untrained in pedagogy and come from areas such as armed services, professional performing groups, well-intentioned community members with little formal training, and music performance majors (Thompson, 1990). There is also broader concern that conductors along with instrumental performers and peripatetic teachers are not given adequate training at the undergraduate level in the areas of teaching skills, research and self-directed study, experience in the workplace, career awareness, business skills and music technologies (Bennett, 2008b; Bridgstock, 2011a, 2011b; Evans & Bodrova, 2011; Hong, Essig, & Bridgstock, 2012). Given the importance of conductors in NSW schools, it would seem prudent to advocate greater job satisfaction. Previous research suggests that the outcome of increased job satisfaction through reduced stress, burnout and greater enjoyment in 5

the workplace is improved effectiveness (Hamann & Gordon, 2000; Maslach et al., 2001). The goal of this study is to provide a framework for improved FSC conditions and training, which would hopefully result in improved job satisfaction.

Problem statement
Freelance musicians who conduct ensembles of school children are an essential and vibrant part of the music education landscape in NSW (Hardy, 2006; Pascoe et al., 2005). However, the lack of organisation in their employment conditions, training, support structures and career development may lead to deterioration in their job satisfaction and emotional burnout (Heston et al., 1996; Scheib, 2004). Also, there is a definite gap in the literature in relation to freelance musicians and more specifically, school-based freelance conductors in Australia. The intent of this research is to complement and build upon existing studies into large instrumental ensembles in NSW (Bromley, 1999; Hardy, 2006; Luu, 2009) as well as the recent work exploring the lives of artists and their careers (Bennett, 2007, 2008a; Bridgstock, 2007, 2011a, 2011b; Evans & Bodrova, 2011). This study aims to investigate the current pre-employment training and ongoing professional development opportunities for conductors in schools. It will also research whether freelance school conductors perceive training and ongoing professional development as having an influence on job satisfaction.

Outline of research questions
This project is guided by two main research themes of inquiry: 1. What is the nature of freelance school conducting work in NSW? 2. What are the factors that affect FSC job satisfaction? Within these questions, a number of narrower research themes will be explored to provide an overview of the FSC vocation and job satisfaction. These include: • Is FSC a viable occupational pathway for music performers and educators to pursue as a singular employment option? • What are the current training pathways for prospective FSCs? • Is burnout a real, experienced concern for practicing FSCs?

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Methodology
The study uses a two-phase, explanatory sequential mixed methods approach (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2007; Creswell, 2009; Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011) to provide an overview of the freelance school conductor (FSC) situation in NSW and investigate the factors that affect job satisfaction of the participants. In the first, quantitative phase of the study, an online questionnaire was developed to collect data from the participants. Results from this first phase were used to inform the development of an interview protocol for the second qualitative phase. The aim of the second or follow-up phase of the study was to explain and explore the quantitative results in greater depth. The qualitative phase was also intended to give richer insight into FSC participant perspectives (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011).

Delimitations
Whilst this study will allude to research and complementary areas that relate to freelance school conductors, the primary focus is specifically on the factors that affect the individuals previously defined as FSCs. That is, this study will not cover classroom music teaching or other freelance and peripatetic fields such as private instrumental teaching. Further to the structure of the ensembles FSCs direct, Hardy (2006) provided a very detailed study into the success of large instrumental music programs in NSW and the structure of ensemble programs. Finally, there were only three participants from the survey who indicated they worked exclusively with choirs. As such, the scope and focus of the investigation centres around those FSCs who direct instrumental ensembles and caution should be used when applying the findings to choral conductors.

Summary
This chapter has provided a contextual background surrounding the scope and conception of the study. It has also outlined my personal background and interest in the study. The significance of the study and associated research questions has been supported by a brief overview of research surrounding the freelance school conductor profession. Further chapters will review, in greater depth, literature relating to the thesis topic and an overview of the specific methodology (explanatory sequential mixed

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methods design) and philosophical assumptions. Two chapters presenting and discussing the results of the research findings will follow the literature review and methodology. A concluding chapter will provide a summary of the entire study including recommendations and further areas for future research.

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Chapter 2: Literature Review
This chapter provides an overview of literature pertaining to the profession of freelance school conductors in NSW. It is divided into three broad sections, beginning with an historical overview of the role of freelance musicians associated with school ensembles. Following on from this is a review of literature discussing the conceptual framework of job satisfaction and finally, some of the factors that may affect satisfaction of FSCs and their working environment.

Context and background to the FSC situation in NSW schools
The history of large ensemble music education and the role of specialist conductors in NSW schools is difficult to outline given that until recently, there has been no official recognition of large instrumental ensembles by the Department of Education and Training (Hardy, 2006). According to Weiss (1995), private schools were operating large instrumental music ensembles prior to the 1950s. However, whilst there were various initiatives from the early 1900s, formal state-government supported programs only originated in the 1960s with each state’s programs evolving into different forms over time (Hardy, 2006; Pascoe et al., 2005; Thompson, 1990). Through the development of these ensembles, there seem to have arisen two types of conductors who direct these large ensemble—the school classroom music teacher and the freelance school conductor (Bish, 1993; Hardy, 2006). The development of the school band in NSW is most likely the result of imitating the American system (Luu, 2009; Pascoe et al., 2005). However the key difference is that bands or large instrumental ensembles are considered a key and often singular point of curriculum delivery in America and as such, are staffed by a salaried conductor specialist (Bish, 1993; Luu, 2009), unlike the situation in NSW where large music ensemble education operates as a function of three possible structures: a. Extracurricular, meaning the instrumental program operates outside the normal school curricular; b. Cocurricular, meaning that the instrumental program operates in conjunction with the syllabus; c. Curricular, meaning that the instrumental program operates as the main delivery method of the syllabus, (Bromley, 1999)

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In addition, Bromley’s (1999) research indicated that there were perceived deficiencies in the operation of large instrumental programs in NSW. Specifically, in relation to the conductor role, it was found that only 6% of directors were teaching the NSW music syllabus through rehearsals despite providing other educational content. Directors also cited a need for better training and increased organisational support (Bromley, 1999). Whilst Bromley’s (1999) findings focussed particularly on bands, it would be reasonable to conclude that the results applied to all large music ensemble programs in NSW. Similarly, part of Hardy’s (2006) research expanded on the role of ensemble directors in the success of large instrumental ensembles in NSW public secondary schools. The National Review of Music Education (Pascoe et al., 2005) was a federal government funded study into the condition and shape of music education in Australia. The final report contained an extensive literature review as well as a mapping of the state and territory music curriculum. In addition, there were submissions to the review from 5936 individuals and groups as well as a two-part National Survey of Schools. The two components of the survey were a stratified sample of 525 schools and an additional sample of 147 schools nominated through the submission process as effective. The study revealed both the importance of cocurricular music in schools as well as the organisational and financial constraints associated with these programs. In addition, the review highlighted the lack of incorporation of ensemble-related activities into a school’s core music curriculum. This disconnect between ensemble activities and classroom activities in NSW means that many programs are funded by parents and managed with the assistance of a contracted freelance conductor (Pascoe et al., 2005). Pre-empting Hardy’s (2006) NSW research, the National Review (Pascoe et al., 2005) highlighted as a priority improved pre-service as well as ongoing professional development for music educators. With the introduction of the NSW Institute of Teachers in 2004, an increasing focus and process has been given to the accreditation and training of classroom teachers over the past several years. It is surprising and concerning that peripatetic tuition and the musical leadership of many school-age ensembles in NSW and most Australian States is not afforded the same kind of attention and accreditation framework (A. Watson, 2010).

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Hardy (2006) designed a two-phase quantitative study to examine what factors and human capital/input are a part of large instrumental music programs in NSW public secondary schools. Perceptions of instrumental directors (N=73) were then examined to discover what variables contribute to the success of their music programs. Two questionnaires were developed, including pilot phases, with 73 directors from 142 schools participating in the study. To date, it is the most comprehensive study to involve conductors in NSW schools. Hardy’s findings focussed on advocating a need for the NSW Department of Education and Training to give greater and more formal (academic) acknowledgement of the input that students give, the time that teachers spend delivering large instrumental programs and accreditation for the directors/conductors (Hardy, 2006). Attention was drawn to the need for further research into director training as well as the design and implementation of large instrumental programs to reduce burnout and address adequate remuneration. Interestingly, research by Guldberg (1987) alludes to the fact that peripatetic music teachers are poorly remunerated in comparison to those classroom teachers who are employed full-time by schools. Furthermore, there has been minimal improvement in employment conditions over the last 25 years. Current research needs to be undertaken to assess whether employment conditions are suitable for peripatetic music educators, and in particular freelance school conductors.

Job satisfaction of the self-employed
In a review of literature in relation to job satisfaction, Brief and Weiss (2002) explore how job satisfaction came to be approached in two ways both “as an evaluative judgment and as an attitude with affective as well as cognitive components” (p. 283). The study presents a range of historical definitions of job satisfaction and goes on to explore recent research into the effect of moods, emotions and temperaments on the way people feel about their work (Brief & Weiss, 2002). Weiss further outlines job satisfaction as consisting of three separate but aligned factors—“evaluations of jobs, beliefs about jobs, and affective experiences on jobs” (H. M. Weiss, 2002, p. 173). Recent research into “group affective tone” (Brief & Weiss, 2002, p. 292) is also examined. That is, how individuals come to share their feelings in a group setting and its corresponding effect on the group and thus on the individuals within it (Brief & Weiss, 2002). For freelance or itinerant school conductors who find 11

themselves in many different workplaces and with many different groups, the impact of a constantly changing group dynamic or affective tone could be quite stressful (Krueger, 2000). Many previous studies have found that the self-employed have higher levels of job satisfaction than those who are employed (Hundley, 2001; Sikora & Saha, 2009; VandenHeuvel & Wooden, 1997; Wooden & Warren, 2004). Whilst these studies are not specific to music, it is worth noting a number of relevant findings. Data from an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Population Survey Monitor (PSM) were used to form the basis of a quantitative study which tested the selfemployment job satisfaction hypothesis (VandenHeuvel & Wooden, 1997). The findings indicated in a broad sense that contractors are not significantly more satisfied than wage and salary earners. However, this was found to depend on the degree of independence from the hiring organisation (VandenHeuvel & Wooden, 1997). A study by Hundley (2001) explored in greater detail the factors contributing to job satisfaction of the self-employed. The study used a cross-section analysis of three data sources spanning approximately twenty years to test eight hypotheses relating to the self-employed. The results indicated that the self-employed are in fact more satisfied than their employed counterparts. The findings contradict VandenHeuvel and Wooden’s (1997) reporting of little difference between self and organisationally employed. More specifically, the study revealed findings that seem to be at odds with previous speculation about job security of the self employed (Hundley, 2001). It appears that greater autonomy, increased flexibility and skill utilisation help to contribute to a greater sense of satisfaction and job security among the self-employed (Hundley, 2001; VandenHeuvel & Wooden, 1997). The degree of perceived autonomy for freelance school conductors is worth investigating through further research. One other factor in considering the self-employed is the dichotomy that exists between the marginalised worker model and entrepreneur/portfolio worker model (Smeaton, 2003). In the marginalised model, self-employment arises out of organisations that are re-structuring and/or favour freelance or sub-contracted labour over permanent contract or employed arrangements (Smeaton, 2003; I. Watson, 2005). In the marginalised model, it appears that the decision to be self-employed is 12

thrust upon the workers who have little option but to accept the situation. In contrast to this, portfolio workers are typically professionals who choose to be self-employed in order to achieve a better work-life balance, greater autonomy and to take advantage of business opportunities (Smeaton, 2003). Watson (2005) also challenges the nature of non-standard employment via the marginalisation model and focuses specifically on casual workers in his study. He concludes that “casual jobs are inferior jobs, irrespective of the satisfaction levels of their incumbents.” (I. Watson, 2005, p. 371) The present study thus explores the extent to which FSCs perceive themselves as marginalised and as a result, experience the negative outcomes of being self-employed rather than the benefits of the portfolio or entrepreneurial model. The idea of a boundaryless career structure is another model that needs to be considered when looking at the lives of FSCs. In a study of 310 professional artists and 218 Arts students, Bridgstock (2007) examined success in creative industries against the background of a boundaryless career (Arthur & Rousseau, 1996). Within this framework of career development theory an overlapping concept is explored, that is the idea of a protean career structure. That is a career, which is also characterised by strong internal criteria for success and intrinsic motivation (Bridgstock, 2007; Briscoe & Hall, 2006). Continuing on from the self-employed and career development theory, this next section will attempt to explore some of the other constructs that exist in the wider literature and relate them to the FSC situation. In particular, stress, burnout, employment conditions, administrative support and professional development will be reviewed.

Factors affecting the job satisfaction of freelance school conductors
Job satisfaction is an elusive term—most people, if not all, desire to gain satisfaction and significance from how they spend a majority of their lives (Hundley, 2001). In looking at this area—important and difficult as it is—there has been much research already in the area of music education and in particular ensemble direction (Baker, 2007; S. Hearn, 2009; Heston et al., 1996; Krueger, 2000; Scheib, 2006b).

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In a recent study on school conductor job satisfaction, Hearn (2009) sought to determine whether variables reported in previous research could be further reduced and whether the resulting factors affected career longevity in band directors from south-eastern America. Factor analysis from the online questionnaire (N=226) led three factors or categories—Environmental, Personal and Educational. Interestingly, the study explored the Environmental category as really being a measure of the job satisfaction construct. More specifically, findings indicated that Environment as a factor of career longevity and job satisfaction places increased importance on the ‘compatibility’ of the conductor with the environment in which they work (S. Hearn, 2009). The items that Hearn included as Environmental are qualitatively similar to 10 items measured in an earlier study by Heston, Dedrich, Raschke, and Whitehead (1996): student success, parental support, individual lessons, administrative support, student participation level, colleague support, professional development, salary, recognition, and budget. In examining the existing literature on job satisfaction of conductors working in schools, a number of common themes begin to emerge. From the outset, it appears that many of the aforementioned positive factors associated with job satisfaction in the general workforce (autonomy, flexibility, skill utilisation and job security Hundley, 2001) are not evident in the freelance school conductor environment. In addition, there are other factors working to negate the level of fulfilment for freelance school conductors. Stress Closely linked to job satisfaction are concerns surrounding burnout and stress. Factors associated with stress could be interpreted as both a result of poor job satisfaction and a cause, with burnout being the possible result of long-term stressful experiences (Fimian, 1987). As described by Fimian (1987) in his review of the literature at the time of his study “stress is neither a ‘single source’ nor a ‘single symptom’ issue; it can be, and often is, defined in a number of subjective and objective ways that account for numerous ‘problems’ at any given time” (p. 6). Fimian’s development of the Teacher Stress Inventory (TSI) sought to examine the stressful precursors of burnout (Fimian, 1984). Through a study of special education teachers, he originally examined six factors which were later expanded into 10 subscales: time management, work-related stressors, professional distress, discipline 14

and motivation, professional investment, emotional manifestations, fatigue manifestations, cardiovascular manifestations, gastronomical manifestations, and behavioural manifestations (Fimian & Fastenau, 1990). More specifically, the most relevant items in the TSI as assessed by 226 experts on teacher stress and burnout were found to be ‘feeling unable to cope’ and ‘experiencing physical exhaustion’ (Fimian, 1987). Role stress When conflict and tension or ambiguity around job expectations within an organisation occurs, this can lead to role stress (Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, & Snoek, 1964). In a case study of a US High School Music department, six role stressors were examined: role conflict, role ambiguity, role overload, underutilisation of skills, resource inadequacy and nonparticipation (Scheib, 2003, 2006a). Parallels can be drawn directly to the working conditions of freelance school conductors. Many of the stress factors mentioned by Scheib (N=4) overlap and are found in other studies. For example, inadequacy of resources has been shown to contribute to role overload (Hamann & Gordon, 2000; Hardy, 2006; Krueger, 2000; Scheib, 2003). This lack of resources can be further defined as insufficient salary (Scheib, 2004), insufficient budget (Hamann & Gordon, 2000; Hardy, 2006) and inadequate staffing (Hardy, 2006; Scheib, 2003). In looking at the role stress caused by underutilisation of skills, this can best be seen when conductors sense that time spent on low-skill tasks interferes with their professional roles. This contributes to role overload tension as conductors feel overwhelmed with administrative responsibilities and as a result, teaching and planning/score preparation suffer (Hardy, 2006; Scheib, 2003). Long hours in conjunction with excessive workload are found to be significant contributors to job satisfaction and burnout of music educators (Hamann & Gordon, 2000) and teachers generally (Liu & Ramsey, 2008). Role overload is described by Scheib (2003) as, “when the quantity and wide variety of different roles expected of the focal person is overwhelming to the point that no one role can be performed satisfactorily.” Meeting the demands of a conductor’s role in addition to maintaining a personal life inevitably results in the feeling of being ‘spread too thin’. The effect on family life is a concern and previous research has explored the positive outcome,

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support of family and friends has on job satisfaction and avoiding or coping with burnout and stress (Hamann & Gordon, 2000; Heston et al., 1996; Scheib, 2003). Conversely, excessive workload that infringes on personal and family life leads to lower job satisfaction and retention (Scheib, 2003, 2004). It seems then that family life, burnout, workload and job satisfaction are inextricably linked. Burnout In its simplest form burnout consists of three components—emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and reduced personal accomplishment (Hamann & Gordon, 2000; Jackson, Schwab, & Schuler, 1986; Maslach, 1998; Maslach et al., 2001) with emotional exhaustion emerging as the main burnout component. Maslach et al. (2001) provide a critical analysis of research on job burnout over a 25-year period. The research indicates that the exhaustion component “refers to feelings of being overextended and depleted of one’s emotional and physical resources” (p. 399) In a study of teachers’ stressors and strains by Shirom, Oliver, and Stein (2009) the physical depletion resulting from burnout was examined more closely. Shirom et al. (2009) reflect this focus in their definition of burnout as “as an affective state, comprised of emotional exhaustion, physical fatigue, and cognitive weariness” (p. 320). Further, the resultant energy reduction is a consequence of sustained exposure to stress created by both work and general life situations. In explaining the dimension of depersonalisation or cynicism, Maslach et al. (2001) refer to it as “a negative, callous, or excessively detached response to various aspects of the job” (p. 399). Finally, the component of reduced personal accomplishment is linked to a sense of ineffectiveness (reduced efficacy) and “refers to feelings of incompetence and a lack of achievement and productivity at work” (Maslach et al., 2001, p. 399). Existing research into the burnout and stress in the lives of teachers and in particular, band directors, describe a number of factors contributing to burnout and lack of job satisfaction. These include: lack of administrative support (Baker, 2007; Hamann & Gordon, 2000; Heston et al., 1996; Krueger, 2000; Madsen & Hancock, 2002; Scheib, 2003), adequate training (Hamann & Gordon, 2000), long hours and workload (Chaplain, 2008; Hamann & Gordon, 2000), difficult students (Chaplain, 2008; Hamann & Gordon, 2000; Heston et al., 1996) and itinerancy (Krueger, 2000).

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In a detailed quantitative study involving American band directors (N=120) Heston et al. (1996) describe the unique job frustrations and the serious concern of job stress and burnout which face many band directors. Since most cocurricular programs, especially in public schools, fall outside standard school budget and staffing there is a pressure to recruit, build numbers and as a result justify the existence of the program (Hylton, 1989; Scheib, 2004). These band directors work with large numbers of students and undertake significant administrative responsibilities. In addition, the pressures of public performance and the need to recruit and motivate students can contribute substantially to job frustration (Heston et al., 1996; Hylton, 1989). Their description of this pressure and the conductor’s workload is very similar to that faced by school conductors in NSW (Hardy, 2006). The Heston et al. (1996) study consisted of a four-part questionnaire and asked respondents to rank ten factors according to their contribution to job satisfaction. In conjunction with this, band directors were asked to rate ten additional factors relating to the degree of stress experienced in relation with the first group of factors. Interestingly, students were found to be a source of both high satisfaction and high stress. Parent and school support were important contributors to job satisfaction and surprisingly, salary was considered one of the least important contributors. The lack of importance of salary on job satisfaction cannot be interpreted as definitive due to the evidence in other studies that indicate its importance in contributing to stress and burnout (Scheib, 2003, 2004, 2006b). Three of the variables reported as the most stressful were negative student attitudes, inappropriate student behaviours and teaching load. Still, the underlying conclusions were that strong positive relationships between conductors, students, parents and school staff could increase the level of job satisfaction experienced by the respondents (Heston et al., 1996). Employment conditions The conditions surrounding the engagement of conductors working in schools have been shown to have a direct influence on job satisfaction (Hardy, 2006; Krueger, 2000; Scheib, 2004). In an American study examining teachers’ satisfaction with various aspects of their job, Liu and Ramsey (2008) found that teachers were least satisfied with their working conditions and compensation, resulting in increased stress. Interestingly the same study also revealed that even after compensation 17

improves, teachers may still be unhappy with their employment conditions and choose to leave the profession (Liu & Ramsey, 2008). Buchler, Haynes, and Baxter (2009) found that casual employment in Australia was associated with lower levels of financial well-being than permanent workers. In an ethnographic study of eight instrumental music teachers in America, low salary combined with difficult working conditions and low morale were found to severely affect the profession (Scheib, 2004). Scheib further expands the ideology behind the low salaries of music teachers by investigating four major ideological movements of curricular thought: humanism, developmentalism, social efficiency and social meliorism (Scheib, 2006b). He examines the school environment in industrial terms in which a school needs to be cost-effective, thus resulting in low salaries (Scheib, 2006b). Interestingly, in an earlier study looking specifically at band directors, salary was seen to be as one of the least important contributors to job satisfaction (Heston et al., 1996). Whilst the Scheib (2004) study is somewhat limited in its sample size, the evidence presented reflects that of other studies on burnout and stress in the profession and its relationship to working conditions (Allsup, 2005; Baker, 2007; Gordon, 2000; Heston et al., 1996; Hylton, 1989; Scheib, 2003, 2006a, 2006b). In a survey of beginning music teachers, the nature of itinerancy was found to have a negative influence on retention and job satisfaction (Krueger, 2000). Role conflict and ‘nonparticipation’ role stress are exacerbated by the itinerant nature of freelance school conductors (Krueger, 2000; Scheib, 2003, 2004, 2006a, 2006b). The respondents (N=30) in Krueger (2000) study represented a cross-section of K–12 levels in urban, rural and suburban settings and their jobs included a variety of choral, instrumental, and general music instruction. Freelance conductors working with school children could also be described as itinerant workers, in that many have to work in multiple locations during the week and even on the same day (Hardy, 2006). The nature of itinerancy can lead to a lack of contact with colleagues, marginalisation and a sense of feeling overwhelmed due to managing conflicting schedules at multiple schools (Krueger, 2000). Itinerancy in the profession of freelance conducting may also involve working as a private teacher, performer or even working outside of music (Bennett, 2007, 2008b; Evans & Bodrova, 2011; Kassner, 2009). How this applies to conductors in NSW and whether it has a

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positive or negative influence on stress and overall job satisfaction requires further investigation. In a British study of freelance translators, labour market conditions were found to be a key factor in the differences in working conditions between ‘portfolio workers’ (Fraser & Gold, 2001). The findings revealed that freelance translators did enjoy higher levels of autonomy and control over their working conditions. The degree of success in these areas was due to their very specific expertise and client relationships, which created ‘inelasticity’ in supply. The more successful translators used these supply constraints to have greater control over other conditions such as pay, work hours and deadlines. Surprisingly, the lack of a career structure was a motivating factor for many translators who actively choose freelance work (Fraser & Gold, 2001). In the discussion of the findings, attention was brought to the fact that some forms of working offered greater autonomy and the term, ‘portfolio worker’ should not be regarded as one model but rather an over-arching term under which there is a spectrum of autonomy and working conditions (Fraser & Gold, 2001). In many ways there are many commonalities between freelance conductors and translators such as specific skills, lack of a career structure and business built on close relationships with clients. However, studies in the area of music education do not support the same outcomes of freelance translators in the UK, especially in exerting control over pay and working conditions. Administrative support Another factor found to contribute to job satisfaction is the level of support provided by school administration and the parent community (Baker, 2007; Hamann & Gordon, 2000; Hardy, 2006; Heston et al., 1996; Jacobs, 2008; Madsen & Hancock, 2002; Scheib, 2003, 2004). It is reasonable to assume that if the school principal and executive support and promote the co-curricular music program then conductors will feel less marginalised or left-out of decision making (Krueger, 2000). Similarly if parents value the output and direction provided by conductors, then they become important allies (Heston et al., 1996; Luu, 2009; Madsen & Hancock, 2002). This partnership can then influence student enthusiasm and overall job satisfaction for the director (Heston et al., 1996). In relation to freelance conductors, the pressure to gain administrative support would seem to create further stress. It is the support of school or community administration and the governing parent committees that 19

validate the contribution of conductors. These groups also determine whether a conductor is re-engaged as well as rates of payment. All these factors lead to questioning whether freelance conductors have a sense of security in their work and to what extent. Professional development Much research has been done recently in the area of professional development and its effectiveness for music educators in the UK and USA (Baker, 2007; Bauer, 2007; Benson, 2008; Blair, 2008; Durrant & Varvarigou, 2008; Jacobs, 2008). Several themes emerge in these studies highlighting the severe inadequacies of training and support networks for freelance conductors working with NSW school children. Higher retention of teachers in general can be linked to regular attendance of professional development activities (Bauer, 2007; Madsen & Hancock, 2002). Conversely lower confidence amongst current and prospective teachers due to inadequate training pathways is seen as a real concern (Durrant & Varvarigou, 2008). Aside from producing higher skilled conductors, effective professional development is seen as a possible method for treating and avoiding burnout (Hamann & Gordon, 2000). If attrition is linked to burnout (Scheib, 2004), then professional development addresses retention issues as well (Madsen & Hancock, 2002). Bauer (2007) reported that teachers who participate in at least one professional development activity per year are more likely to remain in the field. Effective professional development programs have also been discussed as a way of lowering job stress and increasing job satisfaction through enhanced skills and teachers’ selfefficacy (Klassen & Chiu, 2010). Interestingly, greater career motivation and the more satisfying one finds their work in turn results in more time being invested in professional development (Greller, 2006). A UK study on the professional development of choral conductors reported on innovative ways of mentoring and skills development (Durrant & Varvarigou, 2008). Participants were tracked using a qualitative study incorporating interviews and short questionnaires as they completed Choral Conducting, Leadership and Communication at the Institute of Education, University of London. Part of the participants’ training included a virtual learning environment, which enabled a collaborative and reflective review process to supplement the short face-to-face

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teaching periods. This has the potential to place more students in touch (remotely) to master-teachers/mentors in the field. Whilst the use of online mentoring is not new to music education, it has mainly been limited to online forums provided by professional associations such as MENC (Jacobs, 2008). Jacobs (2008) suggested ‘pyramid’ model of mentoring explores his ideal situation for music educators in general. This multi-year model relies on a foundation of government design and funding and then builds into this—support of professional organisations; mentor selection, training and compensation; and adequate release time (Jacobs, 2008). Interestingly, the professional development structure for NSW New Scheme Teachers closely follows the principles outlined in Jacobs’ study. This framework of accreditation, mentoring and training needs to be made available and relevant to freelance school conductors (Hardy, 2006). Many studies have as their focus the development of early-career teachers. This research has led to an almost redundant design of professional development that seeks to address the needs of all workers (Klassen & Chiu, 2010). In addressing the needs of older workers, Greller (2006) discovered that their desire is for opportunities with greater autonomy in content and structure as well as a focus on specific rather than general skills. Thus an approach is needed in tailoring professional development to the career stage of freelance school conductors. Not only is there a need to address the appropriate career stage of FSCs, but the type of professional development also needs to be addressed. Scheib (2006a) discusses the need to meet the dual identities of music educators in discussing teacher retention. Music educators classify themselves along the musician-teacher continuum of identities ranging from broad to narrow comprehensiveness (Bouij, 2004; Roberts, 1991, 2004). Roberts (2004) explains that there is little professional development available for those educators who identify themselves primarily as musicians. In the case of FSCs, professional development needs to be structured around helping them meet their dual identities as artists and teachers (Roberts, 2004; Scheib, 2006a). In looking at career pathways, supported by adequate pre-service training, it is worth considering whether limiting teacher training and certification to specific specialisations (instrumental, choral, classroom) is of any long-term value (Kassner,

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2009). Kassner (2009) argues that eclecticism and variety as opposed to a narrow focus increases job opportunities as well as employment opportunities whilst reducing burnout. This has direct relevance to freelance school conductors and music performance graduates in general where they are often engaged in a myriad of roles as a conductor, private tutor and performer (Bennett, 2007, 2008b; Favaro, 2000). In longitudinal study involving Australian and European participants, it was found that most musicians are wholly or partly self-employed and work in a variety of independent roles throughout their career (Bennett, 2007). Furthermore, it was found that most graduates spend more time teaching than performing, which could influence the relevance and design of existing training pathways. Through responses and interviews three main themes emerged as areas which need more attention in formal education and training: (1) career education and industry experience (19.9%); (2) instrumental pedagogy (17.6%); and (3) business skills (15.3%) (Bennett, 2007). A sustainable career as a musician requires a diverse range of skills which most music graduates do not possess and are not currently reflected in the curricula of Australian undergraduate courses (Bennett, 2008b; Evans & Bodrova, 2011). Entrepreneurship and business skills was one of six key factors identified by Bennett (2008b) in the achievement of a rewarding and sustainable career as a musician. Others mentioned included industry experience and awareness, ongoing professional development, professional networks and industry mentors, teaching skills and community cultural development (Bennett, 2008b). A recently published Global Access Partners (Evans & Bodrova, 2011) report into tertiary music education identified that the traditional Bachelor of Music equips students to become performers but fails to train students to fulfil any other role in music. The report also recognised that most music graduates will require skills to run a business without ever receiving adequate or compulsory training as part of their degree. The report conclusion identified the need for a ‘professional’ Bachelor of Music degree which offers graduates the best chance of operating as a professional within the broader music industry (Evans & Bodrova, 2011). The theme of developing discipline specific skills as well as generic and transferrable skills as necessary arts graduate attributes are also highlighted in research by Bridgstock (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011a, 2011b). Further research needs to occur in the area of 22

business skills and entrepreneurship among freelance musicians and whether this affects overall job satisfaction, income and general perceptions of success.

Summary
A vast amount of research has been undertaken to date that addresses many aspects of music education, both in the classroom and in the co-curricular ensemble environment. However, most research that deals with school-based conductors has its roots in overseas study, particularly surrounding the strong band culture in America. The quantity and depth of American studies is reflective of the cultural status of the band tradition in that country (Pascoe et al., 2005). The limitations of the Hardy (2006) study, in relation to the present study, are that it did not focus on the freelance nature of many school conductors and it ignored choral ensembles and private school or community groups involving students. Despite most school-based conductors in America being employed as a salaried member of the school’s music staff, many of the findings in relation to job satisfaction, training and working conditions are relevant to this study of freelance conductors. In examining the broader labour workforce and the nature of selfemployment and casualisation, many similarities can be found in the working patterns of freelance conductors. Thus, further research is needed that looks at the specific and unique working environment of freelance conductors working with school children in NSW (Hardy, 2006). In examining the NSW FSC situation, there are opportunities to add to the research surrounding the training and job satisfaction of musician—educators who operate outside the traditional classroom environment. The next chapter describes the methodology used to design a mixed methods study that explores the NSW freelance school conductor phenomenon.

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Chapter 3: Methodology
This project is a mixed-methods study based on a Sequential explanatory design (see Figure 1) (Cohen et al., 2007; Creswell, 2009; Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). The study began with a quantitative approach using a cross-sectional survey design to produce descriptive statistics. Several opportunities were also included in the survey for the participants to provide greater insight through short answers (Wiersma, 2000). Following the analysis of the survey, qualitative methods were used in the subsequent interview and case study stages to help explain or elaborate on the first, quantitative phase. The rationale for using a mixed-methods approach centres on the need to provide a rich description of the freelance school conductor situation. One method alone is not enough to examine the complexities and disparate lifestyles of FSCs. The qualitative data and their analysis refine and explain those statistical results by exploring participants’ views in more depth. The first quantitative phase would not have provided an in-depth description, whilst the qualitative phase, by itself, would not have given enough information on the profession in order to generalise the findings (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). Worldview In this project the term worldview refers to the framework of philosophical concepts or assumptions that guide the study and strategy for inquiry (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). Some researchers argue that there should be a single worldview which informs a mixed methods study, as in traditional single method projects, while others suggest that multiple worldviews can apply depending on the design of the study (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). This project frames multiple worldviews that relate to the specific type of mixed methods project design. It begins with a quantitative survey informed by a post-positivist worldview and this is followed by a qualitative approach underpinned by a constructivist paradigm (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). The sequential explanatory mixed methods design The design of mixed methods studies fall along a continuum with fixed and emergent designs at each endpoint (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). The project began as a fixed design in that it was initially conceived as a two-phase design—beginning with a survey (quantitative), followed by semi-structured interviews (qualitative). 24

However, following the interpretation of results from the survey, the study took on a more emergent design as the design of the qualitative phase was informed by the first phase. Continuing along this emergent design, another aspect to the second phase (qualitative case studies) was developed to provide greater insight into the lives of freelance school conductors. Each of these strands of inquiry resulted in an interactive interpreting of results as opposed to an independent level of interaction where each phase, its results and analysis are kept distinct (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). When considering all the factors contributing to the design of this study (worldview, timing, level of interaction, strands and mixing strategy), the project is best described as having an explanatory sequential design (Creswell, 2009; Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011).
Quantitative!Data!Collection!

Quantitative!Data!Analysis!

Interview!Protocol! Development;!Case!Selection!

QUALITATIVE!Data!Collection!

QUALITATIVE!Data!Analysis!

Integration!of!the!Quantitative! and!Qualitative!Results!

Figure 1. Sequential explanatory design (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011, p. 121)

Ethical considerations and requirements
Ethics approval was sought and granted by the University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee (see Appendix A). The professional network of freelance conductors is quite small and many conductors are known to each other. Many of the participants were colleagues but every effort was made to approach

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peers in a non-coercive manner. The attached Invitation Scripts, Interview Protocols and Participant Information Statements outline the steps taken to alleviate concerns regarding coercion. Another consideration was a clear delineation in approaching participants in their capacity as private contractors independent of their client schools. The purpose of the research is to examine the nature of the freelance engagement and not the specific school environment. Thus, consent from relevant education head offices and school principals were not required. The survey responses are completely anonymous and participants are unable to be identified through their responses. I felt that participants might be reluctant to provide full disclosure and honest opinions without full confidentiality and anonymity. Whilst I am aware of the identity of the participants who volunteered in the interviews and case studies, confidentiality is maintained throughout this report.

Quantitative strand
Survey participants and sampling A purposive sampling (Cohen et al., 2007; Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011) approach was used to target a cross-section of freelance school conductors working in NSW schools. This cross-section of participants were chosen with the intention that they may hold different perspectives on the nature of freelance school conducting (maximal variation strategy, Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). The participants (N=50) included those working in public and private schools, male and female, and represented a broad range of ages. To reflect the differentiation that occurs in the profession, conductors from both instrumental and choral backgrounds as well as classical and jazz directors were included in the project. Recruitment Participants for the survey were initially contacted via one of five methods (see Appendix F): 1. Personal invitation via a face-to-face conversation or phone call 2. Personal email invitation with a link to the online survey hosted by www.surveygizmo.com 3. Posting of a link on my personal website www.lukegilmour.wordpress.com

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4. Email to the Music Directors associated with the NSW Band Festival (www.schoolbandfestival.org.au) from the Festival General Manager on my behalf. 5. Passive snowballing from participants recruited from the four methods above (Cohen et al., 2007). Following recruitment to participate in the questionnaire, participants were asked to complete a short 20-30 minute online questionnaire (Cohen et al., 2007). On the front page of the survey was a copy of the Participant Information Statement (PIS) approved by the HREC (see Appendix B). The limitations involved with the sampling process include the risk that volunteers will not be representative of the target population. Of the participants recruited, one respondent fell outside the freelance selection criteria due to being employed fully via a salary arrangement. This participant was accordingly eliminated from the data set. Participants may also have had a range of motivations for volunteering such as wanting to help me as a colleague, interest in the research and seeing the research as an opportunity to air grievances. Due to the closely networked nature of the profession and the convenience sample, caution must be applied to any generalisations from the results. Survey The survey (see Appendix D) used in the research drew from a number of existing sources as well as my own design in an attempt to provide an overview of the FSC profession. My supervisor also guided the structure of the questionnaire. Prior to publication on www.surveygizmo.com, a pilot survey was sent to three colleagues who provided feedback, specifically on questions that lacked clarity. Administration of the survey via electronic means was chosen due to the ready access participants have to online services, the quickness of response and zero cost involved (Conway, Eros, Pellegrino, & West, 2010). Question types included dichotomous, multiple choice, Likert-type ratings scales, ratio data and open ended questions (Cohen et al., 2007). Open-ended questions were provided for participants to further elaborate using short descriptive answers. The layout of the survey was semi-structured and made extensive use of questions that enabled the same kind of response to be given across a range of

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questions relating to a similar topic (Cohen et al., 2007). The questionnaire consisted of six sections: • • • • • • Understanding the profession How you feel about what you do Your training before you started doing a lot of school conducting Ongoing professional development Conditions of freelance engagement The future—how you see your career opportunities

Various response scales were used with the most common being ‘level of importance’ and ‘level of agreement’: Level of importance 1. Not at all 2. Very little 3. Somewhat 4. Quite important 5. Very Important Level of agreement 1. Strongly disagree 2. Disagree 3. Neutral 4. Agree 5. Strongly agree A selection of questions were used from four existing instruments to measure stress, burnout and job satisfaction. Demographic questions were designed in order to provide a framework for differentiation (Cohen et al., 2007) within the profession. Finally, items relating specifically to the unique environment of a freelance school conductor were modified from an American study, Job Satisfaction and Stress among Band Directors (Heston et al., 1996). A limitation with the present study is that it does not focus in detail on one particular phenomenon but attempts to explore the overall nature of the profession and possible influencing factors on job satisfaction.

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Job Descriptive Index In developing questions specifically about job satisfaction, four items from the Job Descriptive Index (Smith, Kendall, & Hulin, 1969) were used as source material— (a) I am fully satisfied with my job, (b) I am happy with the way my colleagues and superiors treat me, (c) I am satisfied with what I achieve at work and (d) I feel good at work. These four items were found to have adequate reliability and validity in an earlier study on the relationship between job satisfaction and self-efficacy (Caprara, Barbaranelli, Borgogni, & Steca, 2003). The last two items were utilised again along with items in Boyle’s TSI in a related study looking at job stress, job satisfaction and self-efficacy (Klassen & Chiu, 2010). The four items from the Job Descriptive Index were modified and expanded to the following six questions to better reflect the influence of parents, colleagues and superiors on job satisfaction: • • • • • • I am fully satisfied working as a conductor in schools I am satisfied with what I achieve as a conductor working in schools I feel good at work I am happy with the way parents treat me I am happy with the way other teachers treat me I am happy with the way school management treat me

Fimian Teacher Stress Inventory Two questions from the Fimian (1984) Teacher Stress Inventory (TSI) were chosen as being the most relevant of the original 49 teacher stress items (Fimian, 1987): • • I feel that I am unable to cope I experience physical exhaustion A later study (Fimian & Fastenau, 1990) updating the validation of the TSI found that there was a high degree of internal consistency and correlation among the ten discrete stress factors—time management, work-related stressors, professional distress, discipline and motivation, professional investment, emotional manifestations, fatigue manifestations, cardiovascular manifestations, gastronomical manifestations, and behavioural manifestations.

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Boyle Teacher Stress Inventory One item was used from a separate Teacher Stress Inventory (Boyle, Borg, Falzon, & Baglioni, 1995). Whilst I used items from both the Boyle et al. (1995) TSI and the Fimian (1984) TSI to measure job stress, previous studies have measured job stress with a single item (“I find teaching to be stressful”) due to high levels of validity and convenience in a busy teaching workplace (Klassen & Chiu, 2010). Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI)—General Survey, Education Survey Four questions were sourced from the Maslach Burnout Inventory—Educators Survey (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996): • • • • I feel burned out from my work I feel I’m positively influencing other people’s lives through my job I have accomplished many worthwhile things in this job I feel exhilarated after working closely with my students The MBI is recognised as having the strongest psychometric properties, high internal validity and continues to be used extensively by researchers since its original inception as an instrument for use in the human service occupations (Maslach et al., 2001; Taris, Schreurs, & Schaufeli, 1999). The purpose of using these items in this study is to contribute an understanding of FSC self-assessment of their emotional exhaustion and feelings of personal accomplishment (Maslach et al., 1996). The MBI is not designed as a clinical-diagnostic tool (Maslach et al., 1996). I was also only interested in researching two of the three components to burnout as described in the MBI—emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment. Emotional exhaustion has appeared as the predominant burnout component and the component most strongly associated with role conflict (Jackson et al., 1986; Maslach et al., 2001) The other aspect—depersonalisation—was not studied. Data analysis The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 19.0 Graduate Student Version (SPSS) was used to process the data exported from www.surveygizmo.com. Data from the questionnaires were analysed to produce descriptive statistics. Short answers from the questionnaire were analysed for similarity and variance (Cohen et al., 2007; Wiersma, 2000). The content from the participant short answers provided valuable insight into the FSC situation beyond the structured survey responses. As 30

with the sequential explanatory design, the data analysis from the initial quantitative stage connected into the design of the data collection in the follow-up qualitative phase.

Qualitative strand
Participants and sampling A subset (N=3) of the survey population from the first phase were invited to engage in a semi-structured interview to provide deeper insight into the profession (Cohen et al., 2007; Creswell, 2009; Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011; Rudestam & Newton, 2007). Participants were selected based on their previous indication of involvement at the conclusion of the survey as well as representing a cross-section of school environments—public, private, community, primary and secondary. All of the groups each participant conducted were instrumental—concert bands, jazz ensembles and orchestras. The three participants were not involved in any choral directing at the time. A copy of the relevant PIS, Consent Form and Interview Protocol were provided to participants in advance of the interview (see Appendix B, Appendix C and Appendix E). Interviews The aim of completing adding a multiple case study via interviews as the final step in data collection is to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the freelance school conductor profession (Creswell, 2009; Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011; Rudestam & Newton, 2007). Interview questions were generated from analysis of descriptive statistics from the survey. The general strategy for the interview was semi-structured and started off with broad questions followed by additional questions guided by the interviewee’s responses. This interview guide approach (Cohen et al., 2007) enabled me to gather rich qualitative data and best captured the participant’s meanings, whilst avoiding the imposition of my own views on the interviewee. Data collection Data from the interviews were collected via field notes and audio recording with transcription. The interviews were semi-structured and responses were narrative and autobiographical in nature. Ruth’s interview was conducted at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Ken and Daniel’s interviews were conducted in their

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respective homes. Ruth and Ken’s interview lasted approximately 40 minutes, whereas Daniel’s lasted an hour. Data analysis As with connected mixed method data analysis which occurs in a sequential explanatory project (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011), the second qualitative phase helps builds upon and explain the first phase. The interview and case-study data were analysed against the background of ‘fitness for purpose’ (Cohen et al., 2007) in describing the FSC phenomenon. The interview data were coded via NVIVO for cataloguing, analysis and comparison with the descriptive statistics from the questionnaire (Cohen et al., 2007; Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011; Wiersma, 2000). The case-study data will be presented in Chapter 5 as separate descriptive narratives of the participants. Further analysis from the qualitative phase will involve summarising and interpreting the interview data to address the mixed methods nature of the study by exploring how the qualitative results illuminate the quantitative findings (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011).

Validity and reliability
The reliability and validity of the external survey sources used in the first quantitative phase has been addressed earlier in this chapter. The limitation of the present study is that the internal validity of combining portions of these stand-alone instruments into one survey has not been tested. In relation to the qualitative phase where there is more importance placed on validity rather than reliability, procedures outlined in this chapter describe the methods used to provide a participant account that can be trusted, is accurate and credible (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). The credibility of the data, and by extension the overall study, was enhanced through several sources being used in the case-study phase (triangulation) and the results of the study disseminated to members of the FSC profession (member-checking) to confirm whether the findings reflect their experiences (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011).

Summary
This chapter provided an overview of the sequential explanatory mixed methods project design. The generation of each strand of inquiry was outlined along with the data collection and analysis procedures. The validity and reliability of the 32

methodology was addressed, followed by an outline of the ethical considerations involved with the project. The next chapter will present the results generated by the quantitative phase of this study and provides a broad overview of the profession as well as specific factors affecting job satisfaction of freelance school conductors in NSW. Whilst ‘inferences’ or conclusions will be discussed throughout the results chapters, the larger interpretations (‘meta-inferences’, Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011) will be made in the concluding discussion chapter.

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Chapter 4: Survey Results
A survey of freelance school conductors in NSW was conducted in order to discover the current environment of the FSC situation as well as to provide insights into job satisfaction. Whereas participant demographic data is typically presented in a methodology chapter, the presentation of this data is a key to addressing the study’s aim of describing the subsector of musician/educators working as conductors in schools. In so far as describing the participants gives an overview of the FSC situation in NSW, it also provides a foundation for exploring other questions relating to the participants. The chapter will expand into outlining descriptive data around the following themes: • • • • Demographic profile of FSCs Pre-service training Ongoing professional development FSC perceptions about the industry and their future Due to the small sample (N=50) results should be treated with caution. Nevertheless, the qualitative results from the survey’s elaborative responses as well as the case study interviews discussed in Chapter 5 provide a valuable method of triangulation to strengthen the reliability of the data.

Demographic profile of FSCs
The participants in the survey who answered this question represented an almost even spread of male (54%) and female (46%). This relatively even gender split is contradictory to recent findings regarding the traditionally masculine nature of the profession in America (Sears, 2010). Participants reported a spread of ages across four nominated ranges: 18–24 (16%), 25–34 (32%), 35–54 (42%) and over 55 (10%). The experience level of the participants varied (see Table 1) with more than half of the candidates (56%) having worked as a FSC for more than 10 years. This seems to closely relate to the age of the participants with a similar number over 35 years of age (52%). Sampling error could influence this response rate with more committed, longer term FSCs more likely to have responded to my recruitment approach.

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Table 1. Years working as a FSC Years 0–5 6–10 10–15 >15 Total Missing n 10 10 7 20 46 4 Valid % 22 22 15 41 100.0

Education and Professional Association Participants came from a variety of training backgrounds and listed their highest level of education as being: • no formal tertiary or vocational qualifications (10%); • no formal tertiary education but completed a performance exam (for example, AMEB) (8%); • Undergraduate degree in Music Performance and/or Music Education (42%); • Postgraduate degree in Music Performance (including Conducting) and/or Music Education (40%). From this, it can be seen that the vast majority of freelance school conductors in the survey sample (82%) had tertiary training in Music. This high level of tertiary training is reflective of the arts sector (65%) as a whole having a higher level of education compared with the general workforce (25%) (Throsby & Zednik, 2010). In addition, the level of tertiary training is indicative of current trends where most schools require their peripatetic staff to have tertiary qualifications whereas in an earlier era, this was not the case (Thompson, 1990). In relation to membership of a professional association, 41% have no affiliation whereas 12% are members of a trade union, 37% are members of a professional association and 10% are members of both a union and professional association. This may be because freelance conductors are generally not involved in

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the Musicians Union, as it does not specify award rates of pay for FSCs or provide any advocacy services for this niche sector. Similarly, FSCs would not be members of a teachers union and in most cases would not even be eligible, unless they had completed their pre-service teacher training and were currently working simultaneously (part-time) as a classroom music teacher. The professional associations FSCs are more likely to be involved with—in particular ABODA and previously IAJE (no longer operational)—are more network-oriented organisations with very little advocacy influence in Australia and no capacity to specify or enforce rates of pay. Freelance school conductors are essentially independent contractors similar to a tradesperson or independent consultant and yet, they have a lot of conditions and restrictions placed upon them which would ordinarily put them in an employee category (Legal Services Directorate, 2012). Through comments in the survey’s written responses and later in the casestudy interviews (see Chapter 5), it is clear that some FSCs find it difficult to negotiate rates and conditions without an industrial agreement/award or union to turn to. There is a perception, as described by one survey participant, of a “reluctance from both the Teachers Union and Musicians Union to deal with people in my position as both groups felt I was outside their jurisdiction.” This respondent is female, has post-graduate qualifications in Music Performance, currently conducts twelve hours per week in five schools and earns a majority of her income ($40$60,000pa) through freelance school conducting. Interestingly, she contrasts her desire for the perceived benefits associated with employment with the flexibility and creative autonomy of a FSC.
There are times where I do wish that my job was more like that of a classroom teacher, in as much as I didn’t have to think about issues of pay and super and sickness and holidays and award rates and union. But by the same token, the level of creative freedom that many of us have is also great. (Female 35–54, 12 hours per week in 5 schools, 150–200 students per week, $40–$60,000 per year, representing 75–100% of her annual income.)

The working week To understand the freelance and itinerant nature of the profession it was important to discover the structure of the survey participants’ working week. The participants reported a wide range of involvement in the FSC sector, working in as many as six schools in a week (M=2.89, 3 schools per week, see Table 2), and with a range of

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student numbers from fewer than 50 to more than 200 (M=3.02, 100–150 students, see Table 3).
Table 2. FSC weekly school involvement

Number of Schools 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Missing

n 11 9 11 7 5 3 46 4

Valid % 24 20 24 15 11 6 100.0

Table 3. FSC weekly student interaction Number of Students 0– 50 50–100 100–150 150–200 >200 Total Missing n 7 9 13 10 7 46 4 Valid % 15 20 28 22 15 100.0

In looking at the school context, 46% of freelance school conductors from the sample were employed solely in the public education system and 41% worked in both public and private schools. Only six respondents (13%) were engaged exclusively by the private system. Another aspect of the school context is that 67%

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of participants worked in both primary and secondary school settings. This is likely to be by necessity rather than design with significantly more primary schools in Sydney than high schools and thus the likelihood of more opportunities to be engaged as a FSC in a primary school ensemble program. Interestingly, ten respondents (20%) were involved in choral conducting and only three of the participants (6%) worked exclusively with choirs. This bias towards instrumental conducting could be the result of convenient sampling as well as the general practice of school choirs being taken by salaried classroom teachers. Having known a lot of FSCs, my own experience is that there are not many schools in NSW and Sydney in particular, which employ a freelance choral conductor. Still, the results suggest that the data may not adequately or accurately represent freelance choral educators in NSW and that this population is worthy of more specific attention in future research. From assessing the hours per week conducting in schools (M=6.87 hours per week, see Figure 2) it is clear that no participants work the equivalent hours of a fulltime job (generally 38 hours per week1), but this is only the rehearsal time and does not include ensemble administration and preparation time as alluded to in the casestudy interviews.

Fair Work Australia definition of full-time: employees generally work 38 hours a week, and have a continuing contract of employment. Benefits such as paid sick leave, annual leave, holiday pay, long service leave and carers or other types of leave apply. http://www.fairwork.gov.au/employment/conditions-of-employment/pages/the-difference-betweenfull-time-part-time-and-casual.aspx

1

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Figure 2. FSC hourly involvement each week Employment conditions Of the conductors surveyed, 38% have superannuation2, 14% have long service leave, 3% have sick leave and holiday pay (one only). In relation to how conductors are paid there was a mixture between self-employed businesses, casual employment and part-time salary arrangements. The majority (88%) indicated that some or all of their payment occurred through a sole-trader/self-employed business structure. Given that the majority operate their own business and most recognise FSC as a small business (68% agreed or strongly agreed) and recognise business skills as essential to their success (68%), it seems prudent to have training in this area. However, when asked whether their training successfully prepared them to manage their career as a small business 76% either disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Superannuation (Super) – mandatory Australian employer contributions to an employee’s retirement fund. This is similar to a 401k fund in America and a pension fund in the UK.

2

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Likewise, when asked whether their training successfully prepared them to live either partly or full as a FSC, 61% either disagreed or strongly disagreed. When reflecting specifically on their own training preparation prior to becoming a FSC, five of the respondents (10%) commented on the lack of small business skills imparted at the tertiary level and the desperate need for training in this area. Elsewhere in the survey, when given a chance to comment on job satisfaction, one participant mentioned “handling the finances of the business is the most difficult aspect.” With so many music undergraduates needing to consider freelancing as an income source, whether it be instrumental performing, educating or conducting, it seems that tertiary training does not adequately prepare music students for working in this way (Bennett, 2007; Evans & Bodrova, 2011). One participant, when commenting on his undergraduate music performance training, describes it as “woefully inadequate in preparing me for work as a teacher, conductor, or as a business owner.” This participant (25–34) is quite active in the profession, rehearsing 18 hours per week. These findings support those outlined in Bennett’s (2008b) book on the classical music profession regarding the inadequacy of tertiary music training in preparing musicians to think like an entrepreneur and to run a business where the product results in music of some description. Income From the results of the income data we see that a majority of participants (68%) earn $100 per hour or less for their time in front of an ensemble (see Table 4) with the mean (M=2.88) indicating a range of $90–$100 per hour. A majority of the participants (56%) are not remunerated for the time spent doing administrative or non-ensemble conducting tasks (see Table 5). This lack of recognition of the time it takes to adequately prepare for rehearsals and administer large ensemble programs confirms the findings of Hardy’s (2006) earlier research into success factors of instrumental programs in NSW Public schools.

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Table 4. Rate per hour of freelance conducting Hourly conducting rate 1 <$80 2 $80–$90 3 $90–$100 4 $100 –$110 5 $110–$120 6 >$120 Total Missing n 11 7 10 5 5 3 41 9 Valid % 27 17 24 12 12 7 100.0

Table 5. Rate per hour of administration Hourly administration rate 1 $0 2 $0–$20 3 $20–$40 4 $40–$60 5 $60–$80 6 >$80 Total Missing n 23 3 4 7 3 1 41 9 Valid % 56 7 10 17 7 2 100.0

The Australian average annual income for full-time workers as of February 2012, seasonally adjusted, is $69,992 AUD (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012) . Only one respondent indicated that they earn somewhere in the vicinity of the average Australian income (see Table 7) from freelance school conducting. What is more concerning is that seven participants indicated that they earn 75–100% of their yearly income from being an FSC (see Table 6) and yet this would still only include 41

one of them in the range of the average Australian income. In hindsight the income ranges needed to be more differentiated as there is a big difference ($20,000) between each end of the $40–$60,000 spectrum and likewise the $60–$80,000 band. Still, 74% of participants earn less than $40,000 a year from conducting in schools (see Table 7), which suggests that it is not a viable long-term career path without significant supplementation from other income sources. With most ensemble rehearsals occurring before and after school, there is potentially a large part of the school day that is not producing income. Table 6. Percentage of annual income derived from FSC Percentage 0–25 25–50 50–75 75–100 Total Missing n 13 10 11 7 41 9 Valid % 32 24 27 17 100.0

Table 7. Annual income from FSC Income p.a. from FSC $0–$20,000 $20,000–$40,000 $40,000–$60,000 $60,000–$80,000 Total Missing n 18 12 10 1 41 9 Valid % 44 30 24 2 100.0

This need for supplementation and diversification in order to generate an adequate income and lifestyle echoes the sentiments of Bennett (2008b) and Evans 42

and Bodrova (2011). One survey participant in his fifties mentioned that in addition to being a freelance conductor, he also had parallel careers as a composer, arranger and performer. Interestingly, this participant indicated a salary range from FSC in the vicinity of $0–$20,000, which only represented 25% of their overall income diversification and at the same time wrote that they were “reasonably happy with their current appointments.” Contrasting this view is another mother, whose income is heavily relied upon in her family and has since moved away from the profession,
Working right through two pregnancies and babies with no maternity leave was my most stressful experience. My husband works part time so I needed to go back to work one term after having the first child and 1 week after having the second. The only way I can describe this situation is ‘appalling’…I have never felt terribly burned out but after these experiences I decided to return to uni to start my PhD in the hope of finding work with more financial security. (Female 35–54; 4 hours per week in 1 school, 50–100 students per week, $0–$20,000 per year, representing less than 25% of her annual income.)

Yet another view is presented by a younger male in the 25–34 year age bracket, (earning $40,000–$60,000; 50–75% of overall income) who mentions that if they cannot earn $120,000 p.a. in the next few years “then I will look to doing a Masters in economics or law.” This dichotomy of attitudes towards the FSC profession reflects the different expectations FSCs seek from the ‘career’. That is, some are quite happy with the contribution FSC makes to their overall suite of skills and ‘employment’ situations, whereas others are seeking more than a narrowness of focus on conducting can provide. In summary, it appears that the average FSC participant works in three schools (M=2.89), conducts 100–150 students per week (M=3.02), and works around seven hours per week (M=6.87). Within the survey results there were three subset profiles as described through three participants’ observations: 1. Those who do it ‘on the side’ for a bit of extra income as either part of a broad portfolio career or to supplement household income.
It suited my lifestyle. I wanted to be a stay at home mum and this allowed me to work a few hours a week ‘keeping my hand in’ whilst still allowing me to care for my children. (Female 25–34, 2 hours per week in 1 school as an FSC (Choral) with less than 50 students, $0–$20,000 per year representing 25–50% of her annual income.)

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2. Those who are trying to make it a career but struggling.
If I cannot get to $120,000.00 pa within the next few years then I will look to doing a Masters in economics or law. Hard to build a family in the Sydney area. (Male 25–34, 11 hours per week in 3 schools, 150–200 students per week, $40–$60,000 per year, representing 50–75% of his annual income.)

3. Those who are intentional and focussed on conducting school students— these may be represented by those participants who work greater than fifteen hours per week (see Figure 2) and see more than two hundred students per week (see Table 3).
I really do love my job! I love choosing where to work and with whom. (Female 35–54, 16 hours per week in 3 schools, >200 students per week, $60–$80,000 per year, representing 75–100% of her annual income.)

Continuing the theme of diversification of income streams and skills, participants were asked whether they worked in other areas during the school term (see Table 8) and the school holidays (see Table 9). Only one participant indicated that they did no other work during the school term apart from conducting and ten (25%) indicated that they did no other work during the school holidays. Table 8. Other work during term School term No other work Music related Non-music related Mixed work Total Missing n 1 33 1 5 40 10 Valid % 2 83 2 13 100.0

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Table 9. Other work during school holidays School holidays No other work Music related Non-music related Mixed work Total Missing n 10 18 5 7 40 10 Valid % 25 45 13 17 100.0

Finally, when examining the data relating to income, other financial aspects such as super and holiday/leave provisions need to be considered. More than a third (38%) of respondents were fortunate to receive superannuation contributions from their ‘employer’. When exploring whether the provision of super influences job satisfaction, there is a positive response (M=3.7, see Table 10). Given that it could be argued that many FSCs are eligible for super to be added to their contract payments, (Legal Services Directorate, 2012), this is an area that needs to be addressed. Table 10. Influence of remuneration conditions on job satisfaction Remuneration conditions superannuation sick leave holiday pay long service leave N 40 40 40 40 M 3.7 3.7 3.5 3.2 SD 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.4

Note. Responses could be selected from a range of 1–5, with 1 being ‘impacting very little’ and 5 being ‘impacting a very great deal’.

Very few participants received other forms of leave entitlements such as holiday pay (one), sick leave (one) and long service leave (five). These responses

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may have been affected by sampling error and confusion around the participants’ own view of their freelance engagement. Technically, someone who is receiving any other benefit aside from superannuation is probably not freelance or casual unless their freelance engagement is part of their overall portfolio of employment, which includes extra entitlements.

Pre-service training
Participants were asked to respond to questions relating to the preparation their training gave them (see Table 11). The reported means indicate an overall feeling of neutral to disagreement with the training FSCs received prior to entering the profession. Of particular note are the bottom three statements relating to training in behaviour management, lifestyle/career management and business skills (Bennett, 2008b; Evans & Bodrova, 2011) . One survey participant commented that “there is no training for what I do!” while another commented that they learned through doing it on the job. What is clear is that the participants felt that the tertiary system was inadequate in preparing them for what they do now. Table 11. Perceptions of training success My training successfully prepared me to: achieve my own expectations of quality musical outcomes conduct ensembles of school students manage the behaviour of large numbers of students live either partly or fully as a freelance school conductor manage freelance conducting as a small business N M SD

41 3.4 1.2 41 3.0 1.4 41 2.7 1.4 41 2.6 1.4 41 2.0 1.2

Note. Responses could be selected from a range of 1–5, with 1 being ‘strongly disagree’ and 5 being ‘strongly agree’.

There could also be tension between the musician/performer identities reconciling with the need to teach (Bouij, 2004; Roberts, 2004; Scheib, 2006a). Nevertheless, it could be argued that FSCs who undertook a performance degree might have been better prepared by completing an education degree if they are expressing concerns about pedagogical and behaviour management issues. However, this is just one aspect in which FSCs feel under-equipped. The strongest levels of 46

disagreement exist around the theme of business skills and existing as a musician in the broader context of the industry. Thus the GAP’s recommendation (Evans & Bodrova, 2011) for a ‘professional’ Bachelor of Music degree that equips students to participate in the broader music industry is supported by the present findings.

Ongoing professional development
Continuing along the theme of training, respondents were asked about their views and levels of participation in professional development. Of those who responded to this question, 95% had undergone some form of professional development. These courses included formal postgraduate training and short vocational courses provided by organisations such as Symphony Australia, The Arts Unit, ABODA and other overseas institutions. Participants provided a range of qualitative responses to the motivation that engages or disengages them in ongoing professional development. Responses centred around three main areas—financial motivation, qualification enhancement and networking. Financial motivation One participant commented on the capacity for greater earning power through completing professional development. However, there were several who complained about the cost of undertaking courses, with one saying that they were “absolutely devastated and appalled at the costs” of a Masters in Conducting. Aside from the costs of completing a formal qualification, many freelancers struggle with setting aside the time for even a short program, let alone a two-year postgraduate course. Any study that is to be undertaken takes away from a FSCs available number of ‘billable hours’ and it must be paid for out of their earnings. This is in contrast to salaried teachers who are often given the time to do short courses on full pay as well as having the course paid for, or at least subsidised, by their employer. Teachers also have an incentive for ongoing professional development associated with their NSW Institute of Teachers accreditation3.

Classroom teachers must complete one hundred hours of professional development over a five-year period to maintain their accreditation.

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Qualification enhancement There was a strong sense that FSCs do recognise the value in ongoing development (M=4.3, see Table 12) with some indicating that many FSC jobs now require or desire a formal education and/or conducting qualification. It also provides a point of focus for FSCs. One participant commented that even though they did not enjoy their undergraduate degree they are still considering a postgraduate music education degree over the long term,
I feel that observing classroom teachers and learning teaching strategies could be helpful in my current job, but also in case I would prefer to be a classroom teacher later on. (Female 18–24, 7 hours per week in 6 schools, 150–200 students per week, $0–$20,000 bracket per year, representing 0–25% of her annual income.)

It is this last part of the quotation that alludes to the number of FSCs who undertake postgraduate education studies (like Daniel in Chapter 5) in order to qualify them as a classroom teacher—almost as a back-door option if their current situation does not work out. Table 12. Perceptions of professional development and type of groups Statement Ongoing professional development is important for FSC I will only be taken seriously as a conductor if I conduct professionals I will only be taken seriously as a conductor if I study overseas I would prefer to work with professional adult organisations 41 41 3.1 1.1 2.2 1.0 N 41 41 M SD

4.3 1.1 3.1 1.1

Note. Responses could be selected from a range of 1–5, with 1 being ‘strongly disagree’ and 5 being ‘strongly agree’.

When looking specifically at FSCs perceptions of possible development pathways in the Tertiary sector, there was a high level of disagreement or negative perceptions of programs offered (See Table 13). This is perhaps due to the fact that there are no postgraduate tertiary programs in Australia established to cater solely for the school conductor. 48

Table 13. FSC perceptions of tertiary postgraduate training Australian universities provide excellent postgraduate training in: Choral conducting in schools Orchestral conducting in schools Concert Band conducting in schools Jazz Ensemble conducting in schools N 39 39 39 39 M 2.2 2.1 2.0 1.9 SD 1.1 1.1 1.0 0.9

Note. Responses could be selected from a range of 1–5, with 1 being ‘strongly disagree’ and 5 being ‘strongly agree’.

Networking The value of networking is a theme that recurs throughout the qualitative data from the surveys and case studies with one participant commenting that,
I have already taken many opportunities for further study and find them very affirming and useful. Also, as a conductor, we are not often among colleagues, so it is always nice to meet others and talk about conducting. (Female 35–54, 12 hours per week in 5 schools, 150–200 students per week, $40–$60,000 per year, representing 75–100% of her annual income.)

With FSCs often operating in an itinerant manner and not feeling as though they have colleagues within the school, opportunities to network are invaluable (Bennett, 2008b; Greller, 2006; Krueger, 2000; Scheib, 2006a). However, there are no comparable Australian based opportunities for FSCs similar to the scale of a Midwest Clinic or even a vibrant FSC association. ABODA is the only organisation that seeks to replicate some of the success of the American model. Through ABODA there are various state-based conductor clinics and the Australian National Band and Orchestra Conference (ANBOC).

Inspiration to become a FSC
The most influential factor participants cited for their decision to be involved in the FSC vocation (see Table 14) was clearly an enjoyment in working with students (M=4.6) (Rosenthal, 2009). Several FSCs expanded on this with comments such as 49

wanting to share “the joy of music and showing children how much fun it can be” and the satisfaction that comes with working with young people who are “always open to ideas and when focused or motivated will ‘walk on water’ in relation to their music, attitude and application.” Second to this was the inspiration of their own school conductor (Bright, 2006). Interestingly, one survey participant commented on the need to remain positive when dealing with stress and burnout in order to “continue being inspirational to the students”. So not only are some conductors in the profession due to being inspired but they also feel pressure to be inspirational. Table 14. Factors influencing FSC career choice How important were the following factors in your choice to be an FSC? Enjoy working with students Inspired by own school conductor: Prefer it to private teaching ‘Fell into it’ Supplement work as a professional conductor N 44 44 44 43 43 M 4.6 3.6 3.4 2.9 2.0 SD 0.7 1.4 1.4 1.3 1.2

Note. Responses could be selected from a range of 1–5, with 1 ‘not at all important’ and 5 being ‘very important’.

Job satisfaction
In examining the central line of inquiry relating to job satisfaction, participants were asked to select responses indicating the way they feel about their freelance school conductor situation (see Table 15). The resulting means (3.7-4.3: Neutral-Strongly Agree) indicate that the survey population tend to feel on the positive side in their response to the questions. Nevertheless, there were participants who indicated a level of disagreement with the questions asked. In one instance, a participant replied that they disagreed with the statement “I am fully satisfied” but indicated a level of agreement with the other statements. They expanded on this by writing,

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starting to feel very frustrated with the long hours and extra commitments involved. Looking into going into classroom teaching so I can have more regular hours and guaranteed income. Very stressful not being able to take time of when sick. (Female 25–34; 13 hours per week in 6 schools, >200 students per week, $40–$60,000 per year, representing 50–75% of her annual income.)

Table 15. How FSCs feel about their situation How do you feel as a FSC I feel good at work I am satisfied with what I achieve I am happy with the way parents treat me I am fully satisfied I am happy with the way other teachers treat me I am happy with the way school management treat me N 42 43 43 43 43 43 M 4.3 4.1 3.9 3.9 3.8 3.7 SD 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.1 1.0 0.8

Note. Responses could be selected from a range of 1–5, with 1 being ‘strongly disagree’ and 5 being ‘strongly agree’.

Other factors raised by participants when expanding on their responses to the statements in Table 15 included—long hours, evening commitments, poor working conditions, administrative workload, relationship with staff and parents, recognition and unrealistic expectations. Contrasting the negative experiences outlined, is a situation described by one participant where the level of support is high from the school community and they feel a high level of job satisfaction,
I think I am really lucky in that I have a really supportive school administration, supportive parents, and really supportive classroom music teachers. The success of the program has contributed to this, and that support, in turn, contributes to the success of the program— successful program give great satisfaction. (Male 35–54, 1 hour per week in 1 school, <50 students per week, $0– $20,000 per year, representing 0–25% of his annual income.)

The last sentence in this excerpt raises an interesting point and possible shift in perception that FSCs may need to take regarding their career. That is, does one wait for the perfect job or situation to create job satisfaction, or does one set about

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creating it yourself over time? Perhaps then, FSCs need to be exposed to quality models of successful programs and successful, satisfied conductors in order to better replicate this situation for themselves. Whilst the study of job satisfaction in FSCs would be greatly enhanced through a bigger sample, an overall measure of job satisfaction was sought in order to examine its relationship to several demographic and environmental variables. There were strong correlations between ‘I am fully satisfied’ and the remaining items in Table 154 except for the item, ‘I am happy with the way other teachers treat me’5. In a normal teaching environment it would be reasonable to expect that the way colleagues treat you would have an effect on job satisfaction (Caprara et al., 2003). However, with FSCs their level of interaction with other teachers tends to be fairly marginal hence the low teacher support rating in relation to job satisfaction. Interestingly, in the Heston et al. (1996) study, music colleagues and other teachers were the second and third most frequently identified source of support. Removing the teacher related item from Table 15, resulted in an increased reliability and internal consistence of the overall average job satisfaction scale (Cronbach Alpha of 0.79, Pallant, 2007). Using this five-item scale, a mean job satisfaction variable for each participant was calculated. The results revealed an overall mean of 3.96 for the survey participants, indicating that the sample experienced high levels of satisfaction. The sample was fairly homogeneous with a narrow distribution. Nevertheless, there were two participants who did experience low levels of satisfaction, with the lowest reporting a mean of 1.80. This male participant has been an FSC for over 15 years but has low involvement with the profession (two schools per week, two hours per week, 50–100 students). Unfortunately, there were no qualitative comments to explain why he had such a low level of job satisfaction. When looking at the relationship between gender and overall job satisfaction, there was no difference between men and women. This is an interesting finding in a sample comprising equal numbers of men and women. One reason could be the ease in which women, as mentioned by one participant earlier, can combine being an FSC

4

Correlations ranged from 0.47 and 0.58.

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with family commitments provided they aren’t the main income earner, “it suited my lifestyle.” Likewise, there was no difference in the levels of job satisfaction according to the age of the participants. This could be due to the ease in which FSCs can exit the profession by either moving sideways into instrumental teaching, classroom teaching or by leaving music entirely. That is, the concept of the portfolio career gives flexibility throughout the length of time someone is involved as a FSC. In addition to gender and age, the variables of hourly fee, overall percentage of income derived by FSC activities, number of students per week, number of schools per week, hours worked per week and income per annum were tested against the overall job satisfaction variable. Of these, only higher levels of income indicated an upward trend in participants’ level of satisfaction. Thus, it seems the participants in the sample experience overall high levels of satisfaction irrespective of the aforementioned demographic and environmental variables. This is a somewhat surprising finding given the design of the questionnaire. These results could be due to FSCs being able to choose their level of involvement according to their individual circumstances which enables them to have more of a portfolio career rather than that of a marginalised casual worker (Smeaton, 2003; I. Watson, 2005). Factors contributing to FSC job satisfaction Following on from the FSC connection with students as the leading motivator in entering the profession (See Table 14), are results that indicate the level of student enthusiasm as the leading factor in contributing to the participants job satisfaction (see Table 16). Along with student enthusiasm is the level of student commitment as the third leading factor in FSC job satisfaction, with level of school support also figuring highly.

Correlation between ‘I am fully satisfied’ and ‘I am happy with the way other teachers treat me’ was non-significant, 0.09.

5

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Table 16. Factors contributing to FSC job satisfaction How important are the following factors: level of student enthusiasm level of school support level of student commitment: level of parent support ability to cope with stress supportive spouse / partner administrative workload remuneration level of student competence lack of suitable employment conditions long hours / after hours commitments N 43 43 42 43 43 43 43 43 43 43 43 M 4.7 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.0 4.0 3.7 3.7 3.6 3.4 3.3 SD 0.7 0.5 0.7 0.7 1.0 1.3 0.9 1.0 1.0 1.1 1.1

Note. Responses could be selected from a range of 1–5, with 1 ‘not at all important’ and 5 being ‘very important’.

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Stress and burnout In relation to stress and/or burnout participants were asked to indicate the frequency with which they felt like the statements listed (see Table 17). Table 17. Stress and burnout feedback N I feel I’m positively influencing other people’s lives through my job I have accomplished many worthwhile things in this job I feel exhilarated after working closely with my students I find freelance conducting in schools to be stressful I experience physical exhaustion I feel burned out from my work I feel that I am unable to cope 42 42 42 41 42 42 42 M 6.0 5.6 5.3 3.3 2.9 2.5 1.7 SD 1.2 1.2 1.5 1.3 1.6 1.3 1.0

Note. Responses could be selected from a range of 1–7, with 1=Never, 2=A few times a year or less, 3=Once a month or less, 4=A few times a month, 5=Once a week, 6=A few times a week and 7=Everyday

In examining each of the statements in Table 17, the participants indicated a positive feeling of at least once a week in relation to feeling as though they are providing a positive influence, have a sense of accomplishment and feel exhilarated when working with students. Conversely, participants reported that they only felt stressed or other symptoms of burnout on a much less frequent occurrence—once a month or less. It seems then that overall, participants feel positive towards their work and their engagement with students on a much more frequent basis than feelings of burnout and stress. Nevertheless, it is interesting to explore the nature of this ‘balance’ and whether the higher frequency of feeling ‘good’ outweighs the possible acute nature of times of stress. The next question in this section of the survey asked participants “As a freelance school conductor, how great a source of stress are the following factors?” (see Table 18).

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Table 18. Sources of stress Factor not earning money in the holidays my own expectations non-conducting duties/admin workload ensemble discipline/student behaviour student attitudes parent expectations working non-standard hours school expectations working in multiple schools N 41 42 42 42 42 41 42 42 42 41 M 3.6 3.2 2.9 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.3 SD 1.2 1.0 1.0 0.9 1.1 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.0 1.2

Note. Responses could be selected from a range of 1–5, with 1 being ‘no stress’ and 5 being ‘extremely stressful’.

Most noteworthy is that the expectations imposed by the school community as well as themselves proves to be the greatest source of stress for FSCs. This is also apparent in the case-study interviews in Chapter 5 as well as several comments by participants in the survey:
Only get stressed when kids pull out of performances/ competitions a week before the gig. the remaining parents still expect a certain result, which is then compromised. (Female, 35–54, 5 hours per week in 2 schools, 50–100 students per week, $0–$20,000 per year representing 25–50% of annual income). feel like sometimes too much is expected from each school. Required to be in too many places and the same time. Can’t get commitment form families around performance time…all of these things make it stressful (Female, 25–34, 13 hours per week in 6 schools, >200 students per week, $40–$60,000 per year representing 50–75% of annual income).

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Concluding this part of the survey was a question asking participants an optional question “Have you ever considered consulting a medical professional for stress-related illness/burnout?” Surprisingly and quite concerning is that 24% of participants indicated that they have considered consulting a medical professional for stress-related illness and/or burnout. Again, this statistic (whilst only coming from a small sample) raises the question as to whether the overall feelings of satisfaction, student engagement and accomplishment are enough to overcome the possible infrequent but acute moments of high stress, emotional exhaustion and burnout. In particular the high periods of stress seem to revolve around performance times and by extension, parent, school and self-expectations. Comments such as “it builds every term towards concerts…by the end…I’m running on empty” are indicative of the types of responses in explaining periods of stress and burnout. Working-environment perceptions In the design of the survey, most of the questions dealing with conditions of freelance engagement were centred on gathering income data as referred to earlier in this chapter. However, I was interested in getting an insight into how FSCs perceive themselves and others like them, as well as their attitudes towards remuneration (see Table 19). 76% of those who responded indicated that they agree or strongly agree with feeling as though they have freedom or autonomy in their working environment (M=3.9). This would suggest that these FSCs would fit into the portfolio worker model as opposed to the marginalised profile of self-employment (Smeaton, 2003). As alluded to earlier in this chapter and in Hardy’s (2006) findings, the participants indicated a level of disagreement when asked whether they felt adequately compensated for administering the programs (M=2.5) and rehearsal planning (M=2.4).

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Table 19. Attitudes towards remuneration Statement I believe that I have a lot of freedom in my decisions in my working environment Conductors in schools are paid according to their reputation Conductors in NSW schools should have the same salary arrangement as classroom teachers I am compensated adequately for the amount of time administering the school ensembles I conduct. Conductors in schools are paid according to their ability I am compensated adequately for the amount of time preparing scores and rehearsal planning for the school ensembles I conduct. Conductors in schools are paid according to their qualifications 41 2.3 1.1 41 41 2.4 2.4 1.2 1.2 41 2.5 1.1 41 41 3.5 2.8 1.0 1.3 N 41 M 3.9 SD 0.9

Note. Responses could be selected from a range of 1–5, with 1 being ‘strongly disagree’ and 5 being ‘strongly agree’.

Despite a number of FSCs in the survey mentioning their desire to have salaries and conditions similar to classroom teachers, there was a response indicating a level of disagreement with this outcome (M=2.8). Lastly, in this series of statements an interesting conflict of perception emerged with whether FSCs are paid according to their qualification or rather their reputation. There was a clear difference in the reported means, with respondents expressing that reputation is more important than qualifications in determining pay outcomes (M=3.5 vs. M=2.3) with one participant commenting,
I find it frustrating that is differs so dramatically depending on the school you are at—private, public, primary and high school etc. I work across the road from a well known private high school and feel that although my work load is the same as what the conductor has in the other school and we are able to achieve the same standard of musical performance... my professional ‘status’ is not as high and my pay is not as high.

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This comment was by a Female participant in the early stages of her career (18-24 years old), earning 50–75% of her income as an FSC and grossing $20– $40,000 per year from FSC activities. The participant also comments later in the survey on age discrimination in terms of income even though she has more tertiary qualifications than another colleague at the same school. FSC future perceptions In the final question of the survey (See Table 20), participants were asked to comment on their perception of the future. From the reporting of means, it can be seen that there was a positive trend in the level of agreement towards having a longterm plan (M=3.9) and clear career path (M=3.5). Table 20. FSC view of the future Statement long-term plan for the school ensembles clear career path I can not imagine myself doing anything different in the future I often contemplate discontinuing conducting in schools 40 2.5 1.2 N 41 41 41 M 3.9 3.5 3.0 SD 1.0 1.2 1.2

However, within the responses there were still FSCs who are considering alternate career paths due to a desire to earn more or finding it too hard in general to make a career in music work.
I am pursuing a career path outside of music. It was too hard to make it work without killing myself working several jobs. It’s a shame because I have loved the time I’ve done it. (Female, 25-34, 3 hours per week in one school, 100-150 students per week, $0–$20,000 per year representing 50–75% of annual income).

Summary
This chapter presented the results from the first phase of the project—a quantitative survey, expanded on by short comments. These results have provided an overview of the profession including demographic data, training, working conditions and school environments. The chapter has also provided an insight into how freelance 59

school conductors feel about what they do. As this survey represented a small sample, validation of the results can be found in linking themes through the qualitative case studies found in the following chapter.

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Chapter 5: Case-study Interviews
As outlined in the Method chapter, the final phase of this mixed methods project involved a qualitative strand centred around three case-study type interviews. The stories of Ruth, Ken and Daniel, as well as the qualitative responses from the survey provide rich description and insight into the FSC situation. This last phase also serves to strengthen through triangulation the validity of the results presented. This chapter will start by providing an overview of the three participants’ background. After the initial introduction of Ruth, Ken and Daniel, their stories will be interwoven to address similar themes from the survey—mapping the profession and their attitudes towards their work. Throughout the telling of their stories, I will attempt to illustrate the commonalities and variance from the quantitative data already presented.

Introducing the case studies—Ruth, Ken and Daniel
Ruth Ruth is 23 years old, has a boyfriend and at the time of the interview was planning an extended holiday to ‘get away from it all’. Her formal training consisted of a Bachelor of Music Education and she began conducting in schools during her undergraduate degree. Ruth’s band conductor in high school was a source of inspiration “she was fantastic” but Ruth was not actively seeking freelance conducting as a profession, having begun her undergraduate degree in music education to be come a classroom music teacher. During her first year, Ruth’s then pregnant high school band conductor approached her to take over one of the bands. Ruth’s involvement in freelance school conducting developed over the course of that initial year to include three schools. At two of these schools, Ruth was running the band program in only her first year of undergraduate music education training. The third school, she joined as a conductor only because she wanted “an easy money job”. At the time of interview, Ruth’s working week included six hours of conducting (every morning before school and one afternoon), an average of five hours of unpaid program administration and twenty-three hours of private instrumental tuition (peripatetic). This workload was split over six schools each

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week and included approximately 200 students in concert band rehearsals and fortysix individual piano students. Ruth earns approximately $75,000 pa from all sources with around 50% coming from freelance conducting at an average hourly rate of $90 per hour. For a twenty-three year old new graduate this income is $20,000 more than a beginning classroom teacher and almost as much as Daniel’s yearly income who is ten years older and Ken who is twenty years older. This highlights the fact even at a high level of engagement with the FSC profession, Ruth’s and others’ future earnings will only increase with inflation, whereas a classroom teacher has a stepped salary scale which by the time they earn head teacher’s salary would see them getting approximately $100,000 pa. Still when compared with others in the survey and the median income of Australian artists as a whole (Throsby & Zednik, 2010), Ruth, Ken and Daniel are all doing very well. Ruth worked in public and private schools and taught across Years 3-12. In addition to this, Ruth was occasionally involved in guest conducting for other programs, music camps and piano accompaniment “as a musician, you say yes to other stuff as well.” In addition to her term commitments, Ruth found herself increasingly having to supplement her income through holiday work particularly in the six-week break at Christmas,
Ruth: in the past it’s been work free but now—you know the older you get, the more responsibilities you have to think about—the more stuff that’s being ripped out of your savings account. You have to think about what you’re going to do in that six-week period that you have nothing.

Ruth had also agreed to start teaching three days per week of classroom teaching at one of the primary schools where she was already conducting. Since the interview and the writing of the dissertation, Ruth has decided to leave the primary classroom teaching to take up an accompanist position and additional private piano students at a local private school, whilst still maintaining her existing conducting commitments. Interestingly, the reason for the career adjustment was to allow room in her weekly timetable to develop her conducting skills in preparation for further postgraduate conducting studies.

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Ken Ken is at the other end of the career spectrum to Ruth and has been working as a freelance conductor in schools for twenty years. He is 46 years old, married and has two young children—not yet school age. Ken’s formal training consisted of a Bachelor of Music and a Certificate in Piano Tuning. He has no tertiary Education training. Ken ‘fell into’ the profession as a way to supplement his income from performing and private tutoring,
Ken: I’d been doing some brass tutoring at a little primary school and the guy said would you like to take a couple of rehearsals for me, which I did. Then he said would you like to take the junior band, which I did. Then he left and I stepped up into doing both bands.

Ken’s hourly rate for conducting varies from $50 per hour through to $120 per hour and he has a yearly income of around $80,000. At the time of interview, Ken’s working week consisted of eight hours of rehearsals per week, involving approximately three hundred and fifty students across three schools. However, in the year since the interview Ken has added another school program and a regular (almost daily) performing contract with a professional local production of a popular Broadway show. This additional workload will have increased his total earnings from all sources to approximately $100,000pa. Ken is highly regarded within the school band community and as a result is regularly engaged to guest conduct ensembles and music camps, which he fits around his existing schedule. At two of his schools he is paid to undertake administration tasks which he values “it feels nice to be appreciated from that point of view, that they don’t expect me to work for nothing at all.” Unlike Ruth, he does no private teaching and conducts exclusively in Secondary schools (public and private):
Ken: At the moment I’m quite fortunate that I haven’t done any primary school bands for a few years, which is nice. I think that’s a really specialised thing to do and…I’ve found that my niche I think is working with community groups and high school kids. I think I get better results there. I find working with primary school kids really hard…

Daniel Daniel is 32 years old and in a long-term relationship. Daniel’s commitment to music education began at quite an early age, deciding he wanted to be a teacher in Year 4. He recalls,

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Daniel:

My personal theory on it is that for some reason I naturally started learning in a constructivist kind of way. For whatever reason I would sit there and I’d think of five different ways of explaining everything that she (Year 4 Teacher) said. That somehow tied in with me wanting to do the job that I saw her doing. I thought, I want to be a teacher because I’d explain it these five or six ways.

These internal ‘mind games’ continued into high school where he observed the varying levels of success of music teachers. He was steered towards conducting after being part of groups with inspiring leaders. Daniel found that conductors were the individuals who had the most influence on him as a musician and identified the conductor as the position where you could “make the biggest difference”. More specifically, he recounts his experience in Year 11 and 12 as a member of the NSW School Spectacular Orchestra and working with Steve Williams,
Daniel: Steve was just so inspiring and really amazing. I actually don’t know how the timeline worked. I don’t know whether I had decided I wanted to do some conducting stuff before then, but certainly at that point I thought, right, that’s it. That’s where you can actually really, yes, make a big difference.

Presently, Daniel is involved in nineteen hours of freelance school conducting each week involving orchestras, jazz ensembles, concert bands and chamber groups. This conducting is spread across primary and secondary schools. Of the three case studies, he is he only one to work exclusively in public schools— four each week, as well as an association with the DET Arts Unit. His formal qualifications consisted of a Bachelor of Music, an Associate Diploma in Jazz Studies and a Master of Teaching. He began conducting in schools on the first day of his undergraduate degree and has been working as a FSC for fifteen years. Half way through his undergraduate degree he decided against pursuing a career as an orchestral musician “and didn’t know if I would get there anyway”. Daniel earns approximately $60,000 plus super pa from freelance conducting, which like Ruth and Ken, is in the upper range of income for FSCs surveyed. His superannuation is added to his hourly billing rate by the schools where he works. In addition he earns an additional $20,000 a year from outside sources such as gigs and his community big band. On a per hour basis, he earns between $100 and $120 plus superannuation. Daniel’s week, like the other two interviewees also involves administration tasks and attendance at regular (usually monthly) parent committee meetings. Daniel

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is paid a kind of honorarium at one of his schools to undertake administrative duties. He estimates that non-conducting tasks take up around twelve hours a week though “I mean mentally you’re always thinking about it”, and in addition most weekends will involve gigs as a professional musician. Finally, Daniel regularly attends gigs as an audience member such as those hosted by Jazzgroove6 “so that I at least see some other jazz musos and networking.”

Training, Accreditation, Networking and Professional Development
Pre-service and early career training All of the interviewees have completed either undergraduate training in Music Performance or Education with Daniel having completed postgraduate training in Education and an additional degree in Jazz. For Music Performance graduates, the pedagogical aspect of their training is a small component with Ken mentioning that,
Ken: it was very half-arsed and next to bloody useless. Because I was already out there doing it. The guy who was taking the class actually kept referring to me and saying what do you think about that, what do you think about that, what do you do about that? Would you like to show us how you did that? What are your ideas? It was like—I felt really put out, that that wasn’t what I was there to do. I was there to try and learn off somebody else, not have somebody else keep throwing me up as an example.

Each of the interviewees when commenting about their training, mention that learning from other conductors was the main form of training they received for their eventual career as FSCs. This emulation puts the onus on the mentor to be someone that is worth modelling (Benson, 2008; Blair, 2008; Jacobs, 2008). As Daniel describes,
Daniel: Yes, worryingly all I was doing was emulating or copying what I’d seen when I was a student. The older I got, the further I was from my memories of good conductor teaching of high school and primary school students. Also I only had to go on what I saw, which I had no perspective…That really dangerous thing of you just copy what you think is good and so it’s got nothing to do with whether it’s good, whether it has pedagogical foundations, whether it actually works for you. It’s just literally copying someone else and usually copying them badly and inaccurately and not understanding why they did what they did…

6

Jazz Groove – Sydney-based musicians collective promoting weekly gigs and a record label.

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Daniel then mentions that he joined the Arts Unit as a tutor six years ago to watch good conductors work each week, which he has found invaluable for his ongoing professional development. Daniel also seems to be quite capable of transferring lessons learnt across age groups, genres and ensembles. As a member of the Symphony Australia program he has had the opportunity to work with some of the countries leading orchestras which isn’t directly applicable to how “you teach a Year 8 kid to swing…but you’re still developing professionally and if you choose you can find a way of constructing new ways of understanding and doing things through rehearsal.” Daniels experience suggests that FSCs need to be taught how to think in relation to transferability of skills as much as the niche technical requirements of conducting an ensemble (Bridgstock, 2011a, 2011b). Ken also talks about having the opportunity to learn his craft by watching others ‘on the job’,
Ken: I’ve had the chance to watch really good people work and see how they do it. I think that would probably be my greatest education there, educationally, pedagogically, was actually having some great teachers myself. Great trombone teachers, some good conducting teachers and then playing under good conductors educationally.

This modelling is representative of the traditional master—apprentice model or even the private instrumental tuition model. Ongoing professional development Daniel was the most active of the three interviewees in undertaking ongoing professional development. More specifically, he found his Master of Teaching valuable because he saw a direct link and was able to apply immediately the coursework to his current FSC engagement:
Daniel: Everything you’ve learnt that week you have a directed way of trying to apply that. You don’t, you know, learn for like an undergrad, whatever it is, you do two years before you try all of that for three weeks on your first class and crash and burn.

Both Ruth and Ken are keen to develop their conducting abilities. Interestingly, neither of them have any interest in furthering their formal pedagogical training. Admittedly, Ruth and Daniel have completed their pre-service teacher training, whereas Ken is at the later stages of his career and has no desire to work in the classroom. Ruth highlights the need for education training particularly when working in primary schools,

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Ruth:

primary school conducting is more based on whether or not you’re a good music educator rather than whether or not you’re a good conductor. Because the kids are so young, it doesn’t matter if—you know you can have beautiful gestures or anything—that doesn’t matter.

Ken’s comments about what he would like to see in professional development raises several questions about training for FSCs in general. That is, do they need to be trained as conductors, teachers or both and do students benefit from having trained musician-educators? From looking through the survey responses and examining the interview transcripts it seems that conductors in schools need to be trained in pedagogy, conducting skills and be highly skilled musicians as well. Still, Ken desires training that equips conductors to educate. He talks specifically about the need for Symphony Australia to,
Ken: educate the educators. All they seem to be doing is trying to find the next bloody great white hope of a conductor and what they do educationally for conductors is totally barking up the wrong tree I think. The Beat Starts Here7—is so condescending. It’s like saying oh well you’re just a shit teacher, let’s go and teach you how to conduct. Which was absolutely insulting.

The reality is that the core Symphony Australia program, in which Daniel is involved, is structured in a way to train conductors to work at the professional orchestra level, not the school conductor level. The other organisation Ken mentions is The Arts Unit and his request for them to provide better in-service courses for FSCs. Ken elaborates on what he wants by mentioning pedagogical aspects of classroom management that he would like to increase his knowledge, as well as getting insights into repertoire. Since the interview with Ken, the Arts Unit offered their first series of in-service training for conductors—a two-day workshop for wind band conductors and a one-day workshop for stage band conductors. Contrasting this are Daniel’s comments about being inspired in high school by excellent musicians and conductors such as Steve Williams. Interestingly Steve Williams came from both a classroom teaching background and a professional performing career as a trumpeter and conductor. Thus the argument for FSCs to be skilled in both performing and educating carries some weight. Daniel confirms this but from a slightly different perspective. Having completed his Master of Teaching ten years after beginning as FSC, he found it beneficial to study part-time and be able

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to directly apply the coursework of his degree to the programs he was currently running as a FSC,
Daniel: I was kind of able to bend everything that I was reflecting on into conducting work. Which I think wouldn’t have happened if I had have been full-time and had been trying to consolidate the pedagogy and the curriculum stuff that I was doing at the same time.

Daniel also had a number of other motivating factors when he decided to complete his Master of Teaching. He predominantly saw it as a way of investing in his future,
Daniel: So, you know, when I have a family I’ll be able to decide to be a fulltime classroom teacher, work, you know, eight till four and be at home and do whatever you do but still be at home. Or probably the more likely situation would be that I do some of that and some of what I’m doing at the moment. But I kind of thought at that stage the writing was on the wall that I wouldn’t be able to continue doing 7:00am starts and 11 o’clock finishes at the end of gigs and everything in between was out of school hours.

He also had advice from administrators in the Department of Education and Communities (DEC, previously Department of Education and Training, DET) that in order to continue working as a FSC in DEC schools, you would need formal education qualifications in the future, “I’m really glad I did it and it’s changed the way that I teach a lot and changed the way that I work with groups a hell of a lot.” Accreditation Accreditation, links closely to the issue of training and ongoing professional development. Ken mentioned that during his time in the profession (26 years) the issue of accreditation has been ‘tried before’ and various universities, training organisations and associations such as ABODA have run courses but without it being matched to an income scale or formal process there is little incentive for FSCs to participate. Daniel was careful to distinguish accreditation from regulation and related it to the medical profession,
Daniel: I feel very uncomfortable about the premise that professionals need to be professionally regulated. People regard you as a doctor and trust your professional abilities. Whilst I think it is good to necessitate a doctor to have to develop professionally by a certain amount every year and go to this many conferences or whatever. I don’t think it’s at all appropriate to have someone become a doctor and then five years

7

A course designed for school teachers and community conductors

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out tell them whether they’re good enough to still be a doctor or not. I find that really irksome.

Daniel further elaborated on linking increased pay to accreditation. Whilst he thought that there should be a way to index pay to performance outcomes, he was against the concept that you just ‘tick a box’ and you get a pay rise (one could argue that is what occurs with the current NSW Institute of Teachers Accreditation pathway). His overall feeling was that if you do a better job you should get paid for it, rather than having to rely solely on your negotiating skills and ability to market yourself each year. The question is then, how does one decide if good outcomes are being delivered without clearly defined performance indicators? Similarly, many freelance school conductors are naïve to the demands of small business and the need to be able to market their product is a key success driver of any business (Bennett, 2008b; Hong et al., 2012). In this case, the product and the business are wrapped up in the FSC individual. Without adequate training in entrepreneurship then it is clear why some FSCs struggle with the concept of having to justify their existence when their classroom colleagues seem to have it guaranteed. Networking Finally, in examining how FSCs are trained prior to beginning and during their career, the value of networking is of critical importance (Bennett, 2008b; Krueger, 2000; Scheib, 2006a). Networking seems to have an effect on professional development as well as job satisfaction—the idea that peer-to-peer learning is taking place as well as mentor-student learning. Daniel re-iterates themes emerging from the survey in relation to why he makes a point of attending performances, conferences and his involvement with the Arts Unit:
Daniel: Oh I think part of it is networking. Part of it is—and every time you go to a State Camp or the Arts Unit—you have colleagues. You never have colleagues working in your job. So you realise that there’s a lot of other people doing what you do and they all have strengths and weaknesses and you can learn from each other. You know, you get to find out, you know like you and I often do, what’s going on at other schools and what you could do better. How you could be better recognised and paid or whatever. Usually Tuesday nights I try and get out to Jazz Groove at 505 so that I at least see some other jazz musos and networking and all that stuff.

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Daniel also talks about the need for a conference in Australia similar in stature and calibre to the Midwest Clinic8. That is an event where other conductors, whether they be freelance or not, can gather together and talk about their profession, learn skills, learn about repertoire and hear other school and professional groups perform. Particularly for younger FSCs, he described his early attendance at a Midwest Clinic and IAJE conference as “eye-opening”.

Conditions of engagement
Financial Comments around employment conditions mainly centred on the need for a salary and the lack of remuneration provided for non-conducting tasks that FSCs have to undertake. With regards to payment for work done off the podium, Daniel’s comments best summarise the situation many FSCs find themselves in, including the other two interviewees. That is, only some schools pay for administrative duties and where they do so, it is inadequate,
Daniel: What I generally find is that between a monthly meeting that I’m not paid for and answering emails and I do photocopying at X Public School. Then basically liaising with all of the parent community and school staff and delegating things and asking for things to be done, I go way over four hours/five hours a week. Then all of the other schools there’s an expectation that I’ll answer emails and stay in contact with people and organise things, but it’s all unpaid.

Daniel often spends the middle of every day answering emails “that are expected to be answered straight away” which he finds very frustrating. This highlights an aspect of the job and its remuneration that is perhaps hidden to the schools and parent committees that employ the FSCs. With a salaried position, a person is paid a total package that is expected to include all the ‘extras’, which in a teaching situation includes preparation time, communicating with parents, staff meetings and other associated non-teaching tasks. However, FSCs are generally paid for the time they are actually conducting only—that is standing in front of the rehearsal. However, as Ruth and Daniel mention, there is still the expectation that you will take care of everything else off the podium as well. This situation becomes particularly problematic when FSCs are tyring to fit in as many rehearsals (paid hours) during the week across multiple schools and then are expected to fit in

8

Midwest Clinic – an International Band and Orchestra conference held annually in Chicago.

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administrative time (unpaid hours) in order to effectively lead the programs they are involved in. Both Ruth and Ken, like Daniel, are only paid for non-musical tasks at some of their workplaces. At a private girls school in Sydney, Ken has an example of perhaps the best outcome for an FSC. In this situation, Ken is paid a type of retainer of two hours per week to cover normal administrative and preparation duties. In addition to this, he is paid for meetings he has to attend and has permission to bill for any extra hours as the need arises. Finally, what is most unique is that the rate per hour Ken bills for administrative duties at this school is the same as conducting rehearsals. This is true recognition of the self-employed status of FSCs in that their day is made up of billable hours, with each unit of time potentially worth the same amount. The need for adequately remunerated administrative and preparation time was raised in Hardy’s (2006) study as an area that needed to be addressed. Similarly, in the first phase of the present study, 56% of respondents indicated that they were not paid for administrative duties (see Table 5, p. 41). Hardy (2006) indicated that the majority of large instrumental program directors who were also classroom teachers spent an average of ten hours per week administering and leading their programs. Whilst not freelance, their data could equally apply to FSCs who rather than being classroom teacher and FSCs in only one school are instead involved as FSCs across multiple schools. Ken describes his own situation where he often does not prepare at all but rather just arrives on the podium and takes the rehearsal from there.
Me: Ken: So you feel like you do a lot of things on the fly, so to speak? Yeah. But part of that is a skill that people ring and say can you do a rehearsal for me tomorrow afternoon and you can run in and wing it. That’s a certain skill or ability as well I think. But it’s absolutely fantastic every now and then when I do have time, to sit down with a cup of coffee and grab a score. Actually have a look at a score and go look at that, I need to sort that out next time I rehearse that. Sure enough, at the next rehearsal that gets sorted and I feel really— enjoy it much more, the process of doing that. So if I had more preparation time to do that score, work would be fantastic.

In this example, Ken alludes to an increase in job satisfaction through having enough preparation time to enable a successful rehearsal. Daniel whilst not committing to writing a formal plan does undertake a lot of mental consideration. He finds it helpful to structure his rehearsals and to begin with a plan in mind but be 71

flexible to “read the group”. Without adequate preparation time, no regulation of the profession and no lesson plans required, the general FSC approach seems to present a reactionary form of pedagogy rather than a structured learning model. A recurring theme from FSCs throughout the survey and the interviews was the desire for a salary. The issue of being paid via salary is a complex one and the motivations emerging from the interviews and FSCs in the survey fall into three areas—an inability to handle operating as a small business, a perception that you will earn more and, the desire for better conditions from those who are already earning substantial amounts from being an FSC. Some FSCs in the survey requested that salaries be aligned to a classroom teacher pay scale similar to the arrangement in QLD government schools. Others like Daniel, were concerned that if all FSCs were transferred to a schoolteacher’s salary then it could actually cost him money “unless they view it as a head teacher job—which it essentially is.” For new graduates starting at the bottom of the equivalent classroom teacher’s salary scale, this may not be a problem. However, there would need to be some kind of lateral transfer or recognition of prior service for those who have been working as an FSC for quite some time. Superannuation and other conditions With only 38% of survey participants paid superannuation as part of their contract, this is clearly an area that needs addressing. Daniel is paid super at all of his schools, Ruth is not paid super at all and Ken has only just started receiving super at one of his schools after an audit of the nature of his and other FSCs nature of employment at the school. The NSW Department of Education and Communities Legal Issues Bulletin (2012) outlines a scenario where almost all FSCs should be paid superannuation which is summarised as follows,
In the school context, the requirement to pay superannuation deductions generally applies to music tutors, physical education instructors and bandleaders that are hired by the school.

With superannuation already included in his contract, what Daniel is after from a salary are the extra conditions such as holiday pay, sick leave and long service leave,
Daniel: Well I think the pay situation kind of has to be sorted out. I mean I’m one of the people I guess who is doing okay out of it because, the results that I’ve got in the past mean that I get paid more essentially.

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But, I never take a sick day so most years, the last couple of years, I haven’t. Most years I’ll have at least a week of rehearsals where I don’t have a voice because I get the flu, lose my voice and then we have whisper rehearsals. But If I don’t work, you know, I don’t get paid. January’s really hard. I do whatever I can, you know, I actually hold off on invoicing for gigs until the last couple of weeks of term so that that money then comes in to help me get through holidays. Then last year I kind of planned it so that at the end of the year I had two term’s worth to invoice for and that helped to get me through, but very challenging.

Without these extra conditions being provided for in a salary, FSCs have to be able to manage their cash flow and price their services sufficiently to provide the conditions themselves or at least a buffer to cover sickness.

Artists as entrepreneurs
Recent literature (Bennett, 2007, 2008b; Bridgstock, 2011a, 2011b; Evans & Bodrova, 2011; G. N. Hearn & Bridgstock, 2010; Hong et al., 2012) as well as results in the previous chapter highlights the need for artists generally to be trained in aspects of entrepreneurship, small business development and basic financial management. Without this training for FSCs, there is an expectation of traditional employee-type conditions. That is, that they turn up to do a job and should not have to deal with traditional aspects of a small business owner such as chasing payments. It is clear from the survey and interviews that participants are not prepared for a boundaryless or protean career (Bridgstock, 2011b; Briscoe & Hall, 2006). Several survey participants also mention the frustration and stress managing finances causes through the late payment of invoices, contract negotiation and tax obligations. Both Ruth and Daniel echo the lack of training and preparedness in dealing with the financial aspects of freelancing. This in turn can lead to stress as Daniel points out when asked about whether he felt adequately equipped in this area,
Daniel: probably not…it seems to be that there’s just, every now and then something comes up that causes an enormous amount of stress, which it has in the last two weeks…

At the time of the interview, Daniel was two years behind in his tax returns and had just spent a whole day organising old receipts and two hours with his accountant in an effort to bring his tax obligations up to date.

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Echoing the need for a ‘professional’ Bachelor of Music (Evans & Bodrova, 2011), Daniel comments more broadly on skills he wishes he had been taught at the undergraduate level,
Daniel: …to have training on what you can do, what you should do…even as a performing musician or as someone who wants to work as a conductor, professionally or with school groups, grant applications? Where do you get money from, how to do it? Then ideally you’d come out of an undergrad degree that somehow professionally accredited you to be a conductor working with schoolkids and they would have told you this is the way to do it, this is why.

Interestingly, a few weeks prior to this interview, Ruth had completed a small business course,
Ruth: I have money come in from different ways. I have to learn how to manage it and I have to learn how to manage it so I end up on top and not—not knowing that something’s happening without realising it. So I actually did a business course and it was a small business course because really every musician is a small business. It helped a lot, like a lot. I think all musicians should do it—well I’m 23—you don’t get taught this stuff during uni and you jump out into the world and all this money’s coming in and you don’t know how to handle it. You don’t know how to ask people for more money too.”

The last sentence of Ruth’s touches on an important point that she came back too and one that throws doubt over whether FSCs are in fact autonomous, empowered to set terms and are truly self-employed (Legal Services Directorate, 2012). Later in the interview, Ruth commented regarding her pay per hour (average $90) that “I wouldn’t say what I charge. I would say what has been offered, because if I had been in a position where I say, I want to charge this, it would be different.”

Attitudes towards their work and job satisfaction
Working environment Aside from financial conditions of engagement, there are other facets of the FSC working environment that influence job satisfaction and the feeling of belonging. Itinerancy has a significant affect on the lives of FSCs (Krueger, 2000) and Daniel feels that this can be helped by schools providing simple things such as a desk.
Daniel: I’d like to have a desk at every school, even if it’s only used for two hours a week I’d love to be able to—because my house and my car offices and it’s just awful. With my partner being a teacher as well and not only a primary school classroom teacher but also a flute teacher—our house is just full of work, you know. So I don’t like that.

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Daniel also unpacks how he feels about trying to operate in a non-itinerant manner. That is, how his week and lifestyle would be affected by working in only one school. On two occasions he has had the opportunity to work in one school but two things have worried him—job security and financial considerations. Daniel recognises his own character trait of, ‘hedging his bets’ and is concerned that if a program did not work out then he would have nothing else to fall back on when only in one school. Linking in with this is a structural way of dealing with disappointing rehearsals within a week. That is, if a rehearsal does not go well at one school,
Daniel: like it did this morning, I’ve got the next rehearsal at the next school to look forward to. It helps me deal with all that stuff I think. It keeps things interesting.

Daniel’s second reason for not wanting to focus on one school is that as a FSC you need a lot of rehearsals to make a living “I wouldn’t find 18 hours worth of rehearsals in one school.” Potentially, the only scenario where full-time employment exists for school based conductors are in the private sector with positions such as Director of Bands, Director Strings and Head of Music Performance. Ruth, who works in six schools, would like less itinerancy—to be in fewer schools, with more responsibility and increased stability. Ken seems to have found this stability in recent years and is travelling far less,
Ken: At the moment most of my work’s fairly centralised, which has gotten a lot better. Two years ago it was scattered a lot more and that was really taking a toll. I was getting up at 5:30 in the morning to go to work, which is really hard. So now it’s 6:00 o’clock two mornings a week.

Ruth also discusses the problem with being outside the school system, not just in terms of the way FSCs are remunerated but changing the way many FSCs are ‘employed’. Currently, most FSCs in public primary and secondary schools are interviewed, engaged and paid by parent committees “I don’t see many other professions where you have things like parent committees paying you and deciding whether or not you’re hired or not.” Ruth desires like many others surveyed and interviewed to be considered and paid as a ‘legitimate’ part of the school community. Working with parents Whenever someone is working with students it is inevitable that they have to be able to form good relationships with parents. With the FSC profession, it is often the parents that have administrative and financial oversight of the instrumental programs 75

that engage FSCs. This is particularly so in government schools where it is the parents that support the FSC and the instrumental program through the payment of additional fees. In its simplest form, parent committees rather than school administration are the ‘employers’ of FSCs. With many FSCs working in multiple schools, there are quite often a number of parent committees they have to answer to. Daniel, answers to four committees, two committees engage Ruth and Ken answers to one. Each of the interviewees found dealing with parents frustrating. Aside from working through issues of appreciation and recognition as alluded to later in this chapter, the FSCs found the general ongoing communication problematic. Ken talks about navigating through parents that all “have their own barrow to push…some parents just don’t see the bigger picture.” He also comments several times about the way he is spoken to by parents as being very rude “They would never talk to their bloody football coach the way I’ve been spoken to on occasion.” Ruth echoes these thoughts that while it is great to have parents involved in their child’s education and in helping FSCs do their ‘job’,
Ruth: to rely on parents who have only their own kid’s interest at heart, rather than—they can’t see what your goal for music education at the school is. You know they sort of see it as—is my kid happy, no— therefore you’re out?

Daniel on the other hand, talks about the challenges that come with building a successful program,
Daniel: [that has] won everything they’ve gone in for the last five years so the expectation’s that they’ll do it. A lot of parents there are still grateful but there’s still a sense of entitlement and that comes through in the way that parents deal with you week to week as well.

Daniel finds that with the sense of entitlement he has to work harder at marketing the program, the way it is structured and in particular why students get put on certain instruments. Working with students In examining the lives of our three interviewees, it is clear that despite joining the profession in different ways, they all choose to stay because they enjoy working with students. When asked whether he enjoyed conducting in schools and preferred students over adult professional groups, Daniel commented on the relational aspect

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of having the chance to getting to know students without having to fight with the egos that come with professional groups,
Daniel: I mean if you do it well there’s a sense that you’re giving the students something that is helping them learn. What you give to them is the building blocks or the starting point or whatever, the process through which they get to an amazing performance. I think with a professional orchestra at least some of the time, if not most of the time, I don’t think you would feel that way.

Ken reiterates that if you emphasise quality music making then the satisfaction achieved from conducting a primary school band can be the same as conducting a professional group “I just put music at the front and I’m always just trying to achieve the best from that ensemble.” He also reminisces about the times in music as a performer where he has been moved to tears and this inspires him to pass this passion onto the students and feels incredibly rewarded when students recognise a great performance they have achieved together. One survey respondent echoed these sentiments,
Survey: I enjoy working with young people. The are always open to ideas and when focused or motivated will ‘walk on water’ in relation to their music, attitude and application. My job is to get them to that thought level. Sometimes yes sometimes no.

With the enjoyment that comes from working with children comes the pressure to keep them in the program. After all, it is the parents’ fees that are financing the income of the FSC. As opposed to a teacher who is employed via private school fees or the government sector, there is not the same level of detachment between the payer (parent) and service provider (FSC). In addition the parents who are paying the fees often manage the budgets. Thus the pressure of attrition and needing to constantly market the program creates additional stress as Daniel relates,
Daniel: I think attrition is a constant source of stress and that’s never because the kids, or in my experience, it’s never because the kids don’t fundamentally like what they do musically or like you as a conductor or anything. It always seems to be a hierarchy of subjects issue. So what I get frustrated with is that kids in Year 7 or kids in Year 5 studying for selective school test have to make the decision to give music away because it’s, fundamentally because it’s not recognised on a par with other subjects that have cultural capital.

For the FSCs in this study there seems to be a distinct contrast between the levels of job satisfaction they attain from their love of working with students as

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opposed to the demands, lack of respect, recognition and appreciation they feel are demonstrated by the parents and staff of the school community. Appreciation, recognition and respect Ruth finds her youthful age and appearance as affecting the level of appreciation and respect she receives as a music educator, “I am young and I look very young as well—like I get confused with high school students.” She has found this particularly hard when starting at a new school, where she seems to be immediately judged as a certain type of conductor based upon her physical appearance “it’s almost like I’ve had to doubly prove to them that I am like a professional”. In contrast she has witnessed older males come in and instantly they are given more respect because “he looks like he’s been a conductor for ages—he must be good”. Whilst the gender or age bias did not come through in the quantitative phase of the study, it is an area that may need further examination with a larger sample. Daniel discusses appreciation in the form of collegial respect and several instances of feeling marginalised at one his schools, where he has turned up and had rehearsal rooms moved twice. The same high school has scheduled senior classes before school, which they are supposed to leave free for the senior ensembles, thus resulting in absence of key players. Then without consultation the school musical rehearsals were scheduled by the classroom music teachers to clash with the ensemble rehearsals,
Daniel: …they’ve also scheduled the school musical rehearsals. The same department that’s supposed to be supporting and running the bloody thing that I’m doing there. So I haven’t had a full orchestra yet and won’t have there till June. So in terms of appreciation by schools in those situations, it’s appalling. So is it, do you feel like you’re treated as an equal by other teachers? If I demand to be.

Me: Daniel:

Daniel also feels pressure to market himself and his job continually at all his schools in order to have his professional judgement trusted by stakeholders. He regularly participates in elite conducting programs with Symphony Australia and is engaged by The Arts Unit to conduct selective ensembles and state music camps. Each time he is away, he promotes this to the school community,
Daniel: whatever subtle way and non-boasting way I can, I just try and let them know what I do. I really worry about the soccer dad mentality. You know, the dad that coaches the little kid’s soccer team,

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extracurricular sport activity, is just someone’s dad. Doesn’t necessarily know anything about soccer, certainly doesn’t have physical education and science degree. I fight very hard and have done for a while to make sure that I’m not viewed in that same light.

This self-promotion as well as educating parents about how and why he does it helps Daniel in gaining appreciation from the parent community. Still, this appreciation is shown in different ways with the big difference being “gratitude versus entitlement.” The sense of being taken for granted is one that Ken refers to when asked about whether he felt appreciated. For Ken, appreciation centres around two key areas—remuneration and respect. Whilst he feels a high level of respect from his teacher colleagues at his current schools, this was not always the case “You know I was the band guy, don’t you talk to us in the music department. You do your band; we’ll do the music. That sucked.” Contrasting this current level of support from colleagues is his feeling of a lack of respect and value from parents and others in the community. When talking about being taken for granted, Ken views how much he is paid as correlating to how he is respected and valued by the school community,
Ken: I feel supported and at times appreciated, but certainly at times taken for granted—often taken for granted. I think at all the jobs pretty much underpay. That people don’t get that you’re trying to make a living as a freelancer doing what we do. They just think that you’ve got a job somewhere else and this is your hobby or something, It is frustrating because I love what I do but I’ve never felt that I’ve been remunerated accordingly to my skill level. I think I do a good job, I think I get good results. But I just make a living. For somebody of my experience and ability levels now, I’m earning nowhere near what other people my age in their job with similar qualifications and experience are earning. I’m probably earning half what other people get.

The issue of pay is a recurring theme and correlates to feelings of appreciation, respect and job satisfaction in the minds of the interviewees and survey participants. It seems that FSCs want to be remunerated sufficiently so that they are not looking at fellow ‘teachers’ or to a lesser extent other professions and wondering why they do not change professions. FSCs do not want to feel like they are expending so much energy without sufficient reward and the ability to rest, which ends up leading to burnout. In economic terms, FSCs want to justify what they do by seeing an acceptable Return on Investment (ROI). This ROI applies to the income

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they earn but also to the emotional and physical energy they exert in producing music with students. Burnout and stress The main expressions of burnout in Ken, Daniel and Ruth were the feelings of emotional and physical exhaustion and being unable to cope (Fimian, 1987; Maslach et al., 2001). Each of the interviewees relates different experiences with burnout with the common theme being that like some of the survey participants, burnout occurs a few times a year and only for a short time. That is, there seems to be periods throughout the year, often coinciding with major performances and competitions where the exhaustion is acute. Ruth finds it exhausting to have to meet performance benchmarks each year as well as being in six different places of employment each week. However, in desiring less schools and more responsibility, Ruth freely admits that she struggles with having to manage her own administration and find this part of the job stressful. When asked about high levels of stress and burnout, Ken relates,
Ken: By the end of the term I’m always exhausted and do have phases of sleepless nights. I find myself staying up later because if I go to bed earlier I can’t get to sleep. So I find myself sitting up later reading or watching TV and by the time you go to bed you just lay there with your head spinning. It can be very frustrating. Is that because of the excessive workload or is it because you’re in so many places having to… The workload is always there but when you’re building towards several major concerts at the same time the stress levels really kick in because you’re worried about every performance. Everything from lighting to staging to music stands, all that sort of stuff starts kicking in, in the last couple of weeks, let along worrying if you actually have the group prepared musically well enough.

Me: Ken:

The odd hours is an issue Daniel expresses as having a relationship to his levels of stress and is a potential cause of burnout for him,
Daniel: I’ve gone through stages where I’ve forced myself to watch TV for an hour a day—just stupid stuff like that—so that at least I have downtime. Because what I find is once I start at seven in the morning I find it really weird to stop after two and a half hours of work and then to start again at three and work through till whenever a gig finishes on some nights, or nine after a meeting. I find it hard to do that in the middle of the day unless I force myself. What I inevitably end up doing is working these, you know, 18 hour days, five days a week plus a couple of gigs on a weekend and getting pretty knackered.

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Many of the survey participants commented on the physical exhaustion felt, particularly at the end of term and leading up to performances. Interestingly, the interviewees mention a number of solutions to help them relieve the pressure and reenergise their physical and mental health. Holidays are the obvious solution to physical exhaustion, when you are not working and can get through the financial pressures of no income from your FSC activities for up to six weeks. However, Ruth describes a feeling of not being able to disconnect from her FSC world during the holidays “that’s the reason why I’m taking a holiday break to just remove myself from it and come back refreshed.” Daniel and Ken both find that performing on their instrument in a professional environment energises them more for teaching than taking time off. This performance aspect also incorporates the value of networking with other professional musicians. At the time of interview, Daniel was also involved in composing for his own album and found this to be very beneficial in keeping him motivated for teaching. It is the aspect of operating in a professional level musical environment that seems to ‘refresh’ the personal and musical satisfaction that one may not feel you always get from operating in a school environment. It’s almost a fix for your own selfish needs as a musician to be fulfilled.
Ken: If we’re playing we tend to enjoy our teaching and I enjoy my conducting a lot more. If I’m just getting that musical satisfaction myself as an instrumentalist. I do get musical satisfaction as a conductor, absolutely, but as an instrumentalist it runs deeper in me.

Nevertheless, Ruth views this involvement at a higher musical level as contributing to her burnout. She feels that she already puts in a lot of hours with her conducting workload and struggles to find time to practise and achieve the benchmarks she feels are expected of her each year. Overall job satisfaction There are a number of themes that overlap as contributors to job satisfaction and as can be seen in the interviews and the survey responses, FSCs can experience great amounts of stress and physical exhaustion leading to periods of burnout and yet still experience regular periods of high levels of job satisfaction. All of the interviewees have mentioned remuneration and conditions surrounding their employment as causes of stress and yet they have all mentioned their joy in working with students.

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Daniel takes this one step further when asked about his satisfaction and his ability to be a musician as a conductor,
Daniel: I think, the other thing that I think I get job satisfaction out of as a conductor is that, as opposed to teaching classroom music or teaching private students, is that when you’re a conductor you’re a musician. You’re being a musician all of the time. So, yes, I don’t think I could give that away.

Still, the periods of acute stress do affect the lives of our three FSC interviewees and as previously mentioned manifest themselves in physical symptoms such as sleep deprivation. Ken, describes the extent of the ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ and his perceptions of the relationship between stress and the levels of satisfaction,
Ken: There have been many, many times coming into a concert or a camp tour competition, I just say I’m never bloody doing this again, it’s not worth it. Then sometimes after the event you go okay, that was worth it, it was fantastic. But sometimes after the event you just go no, I still don’t know if that was worth it. If you’re talking about job satisfaction, that can be really frustrating. But often coming into the event you just go I’m never doing that again. Sometimes even after the event I’ve said I’m never doing that again. But six months later, 12 months later, you think oh well okay, everybody enjoyed it, it was a success, we will do it again.

As a young conductor, Ruth seems to battle most with expectations with this being a regular theme throughout the interview. This includes school imposed performance expectations and competition results. Ruth also struggles with ‘living up’ to the expectations of previous conductors, especially if they were well liked by the school community. Working in multiple schools, Ruth finds the middle and end of year very stressful,
Ruth: When I work in multiple schools, it’s stressful to juggle all of it. That’s hard to do. Your priorities are meant to be at the one school but then you have to juggle whatever—the band meetings, so they don’t overlap. You have to juggle performances so they don’t overlap.

Nevertheless, when asked whether this stress was a negative with the view that perhaps it would influence her satisfaction she replies rather pragmatically,
Ruth: I’m comfortable with it because that’s just my personality. I will hate it at the moment but once it’s passed I can deal with it. I put myself— you know I put myself in that situation and I shouldn’t complain about it. If I really didn’t want to do it I just won’t do it. It’s not like I’ve been roped into anything. I’ve put myself in it.

Here we see the almost opposing aspects of an FSC lifestyle, where perhaps a particular personality who desires high achievement (protean tendancies, Bridgstock,

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2011b; Briscoe & Hall, 2006) is willing to put themselves through an intense schedule and workload to experience the highs or lows of their job. Ruth, who likes conducting, hastens to add and possibly add weight to this argument about certain people being suited to it, when describing other potential FSCs,
Ruth: I can see how other people who are looking to do conducting stuff would be intimidated by that aspect and that would make them pull back from doing as much work as they could—because they hear of stories that it is stressful and they see other conductors running around going crazy. But yes, I guess you do it to yourself.

The future
Interviewing colleagues who were at different stages of their FSC careers provided an interesting insight into the way each of them viewed their future. All three envisaged that they would still be conducting in schools in five years times but perhaps in a different capacity. Ruth, who at the time of the interview was about to embark on a three-month sabbatical, mentioned,
Ruth: I definitely want to still come back to conducting and to be a better conductor. I mean everyone has their dream of like conducting the SSO—you know. But you’re realistic—that might not happen.

The following year, Ruth was to start primary classroom teaching, though her focus and interest was still firmly towards conducting “working with the musicians rather than teaching in the classroom”. Ruth did mention that it could all change in five years time and could possibly involve a stint working as a classroom high school teacher. However, both Ruth and Daniel will need to be careful about combining classroom teaching with freelance conducting and the possible resulting burnout.
With the DET teaching job as well...in the same school...I feel burnt out at the ends of terms (Survey participant)

What was clear when interviewing Ruth was that she had a lot of passion and youthful energy towards conducting, but was exhausted. As a new graduate, single and already working there were less pressures and responsibilities on her than Ken, who had a young family. When asked about whether he could see himself still conducting in schools until retirement, Ken replied with a sense of resignation “I’d like to think not but I think probably yes. I don’t know.” Ken, in his concluding remarks, then proceeded to expand on his frustrations with the profession. Emerging from this were three main themes—parent expectations, working conditions and musical satisfaction. 83

Daniel, in the second quarter of his career, is passionate about wanting to do two things “…at the end of the day I still want to be working with kids. I still want to be a musician”. He sees his future as still involved in freelance school conducting but not in the same format as it is now. Whereas Daniel leads a primary school program recognised as one of the best bands in the state, the future may involve more high school level groups, selective ensembles and camps. Out of the three interviewees he has been the only that can articulate an evolving pathway in what he is doing. Whilst he is unable to give a clear definition of what his future will look like, Daniel recognises that what he is doing now has progressed from what he started doing ten years ago and will most likely keep developing over the next decade. Having just completed a Master of Teaching, Daniel will need to be a classroom teacher at some point to fulfil his accreditation requirements with the NSW Institute of Teachers but has no desire to complete this yet. Clearly, Daniel has been very intentional about his career choice from the moment he received his high school marks. With a matriculation result that would have allowed entry to prestigious university courses with greater earning potential such as,
Daniel: I could do law; I could do medicine and all these sorts of things. I actually had the phone in my hand and was about to change my preferences and I stopped myself and thought, what the hell am I doing? I’ve never wanted to do any of these things. I’m only doing it because I’ve got 98, you know? I want to be a music teacher and musician. I think that realisation’s still pretty strong. What I have considered is in the future possibly looking at, you know, doing some sort of PhD and getting a uni job. Or getting some sort of role where I can have an advocating strength or make some of this get better.

Summary
In this chapter the lives of three FSCs at different career stages have been explored. Their perceptions about what they do have provided a richer perspective on the profession of freelance school conducting. In explaining the profession and building on the context established from the quantitative phase, this chapter has established a framework for the discussion and concluding remarks in the final chapter.

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Chapter 6: General Discussion and Conclusions
The purpose of this study was to be to provide an overview of the freelance school conductor situation in NSW and investigate the factors that affect and contribute to job satisfaction. The project has employed a two-phase, explanatory sequential mixed methods design in order to give a rich insight into the lives of FSCs in NSW. This final chapter aims to integrate the two phases of the study with general discussion of findings framed by the results of the preceding two chapters. Implications for further research, industry action and future learning will also be considered. The key findings of the study can be organised according to the two main research questions outlined in Chapter 1: 1. What is the nature of freelance school conducting profession in NSW? 2. What are the factors that affect FSC job satisfaction?

Nature of the profession
In borrowing from the concluding remarks of Hardy’s (2006) dissertation (Anna Crusis), it appears effective to create a fictitious typical freelance school conductor, Mr John Upbeat, in order to describe the mean demographic results from the survey and themes from the interviews. Mr Upbeat has an undergraduate music degree and has been working as a FSC for around ten years. He currently works in three schools (most likely public and including primary and secondary) as an instrumentalensemble conductor, conducts 100-150 students per week, and works around seven hours per week. At each school, he is engaged by a parent committee and has a monthly committee meeting with each group, which is unpaid and outside of normal business hours. For his efforts, John earns $90–$100 per hour of rehearsal time and $0–$20 for administrative duties (56% of FSCs indicated $0) with no provision for superannuation contributions. John’s FSC annual income is around $20,000pa, which comprises 25–50% of John’s total income from all sources. During school term and the holidays, he is employed in other music-related activities in order to supplement his FSC income. John operates his FSC endeavours through a selfemployed business structure but admits to struggling with financial aspects of freelancing, having had no prior training in small business management. Mr Upbeat recognises that ongoing professional development including training in small 85

business, pedagogy and conducting is important but is unable to justify the time or the expense. He also questions the suitability of the limited number of coursers that are available. Whilst John Upbeat represents the mean demographic findings of the FSC profession, it appears that there is variation within the survey results, with analysis limited by the small sample size. As discussed in Chapter 4 three broad profiles of FSCs emerge from the data relating to freelance conducting: 1. Those who do it ‘on the side’ for a bit of extra income as either part of a broad portfolio career or to supplement household income. 2. Those who are trying to make it a career but struggling. That is, they are intentional and focussed but most likely are finding it difficult to generate adequate remuneration. 3. Those who have successfully made it a viable career (financially) and are intentional and focussed on freelance conducting as a significant part of their portfolio musical career. It is this third category that best represents the FSC situation explored in the qualitative case studies. This category also seems to indicate a level of success in terms of freelance conductor being able to derive an income from a ‘portfolio’ of sources (Bennett, 2007, 2008b; Fraser & Gold, 2001). It also indicates high levels of intrinsic motivation and vocational direction typical of a successful artist career (protean tendencies, Bridgstock, 2007; Bridgstock, 2011b; Briscoe & Hall, 2006). The portfolio FSC The freelance school conductor with a successful portfolio career structure is more likely to be someone like Ken, Ruth or Daniel. That is they have strong internal career motivations and self-directed criteria for success (Bridgstock, 2011b). As a result, they are working the equivalent hours of a full-time job or more (during school terms), once their administrative duties and outside performing or private tutoring work is taken into consideration. They are likely to be earning $75– $100,000 pa as an artist which is double the average artist total earnings (Throsby & Zednik, 2010) and yet the amount of payment they receive for non-conducting duties in a school is likely to be minimal (Hardy, 2006).

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The successful portfolio FSC is someone who has a high level of professionalism with tertiary training. However, they are most likely someone who feels that one or more aspect of their training has been missed—education, conducting or entrepreneurship. More important than their tertiary training is the development they have received from key mentors along their career pathway and as such attribute their success as an FSC to the mentoring received.

Job satisfaction of FSCs
Freelance school conductors experience high levels of job satisfaction. This level of satisfaction is heavily influenced by student characteristics and the FSC working environment. They love music, enjoy working with students and are able to craft a portfolio career that meets their needs. Nevertheless, within the FSC lifestyle are periods of high stress and physical exhaustion, which can lead to feelings of burnout. What follows are discussions around the findings (mainly qualitative) relating to factors contributing to job satisfaction and stress. Training Inadequate pre-service training and professional development in the area of business skills and financial management is a recurring theme in this project. Ken, Ruth and Daniel all referred to it and the survey also highlighted the deficiency in this area. Lack of training in this area did cause stress for our FSCs. FSCs need to be taught and shown how to create a successful program. Along with this, it could be argued that an employee mindset relies on others to create the perfect job environment with adequate conditions backed up by unions. Whereas, an entrepreneurial mindset seeks to create the most desirable outcome and needs to be more self-reliant and individually navigated (Bridgstock, 2011a). Aside from business skills, lack of training in student pedagogy provided a degree of stress, particularly for those FSCs without an education degree. Like many music performance majors, these FSCs have found themselves in a situation by necessity or design where they are educating young musicians either in a private lesson or ensemble setting or both (A. Watson, 2010). Extending from this situation is the stress caused by having to deal with the parents of these students and the associated school communities as a whole.

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There are no pre-service training programs designed to train someone as a freelance school conductor. This perhaps points to the broader issue of training musicians to be able to operate in the music industry more broadly. That is to develop skills that are not only discipline specific but cover a range of career management processes which lead to success in artistic industries (Bennett, 2008b; Bridgstock, 2011a, 2011b; Evans & Bodrova, 2011; G. N. Hearn & Bridgstock, 2010; Hong et al., 2012). Appreciation and respect The leading factors contributing to high levels of job satisfaction among FSCs are student attitudes (commitment and enthusiasm) and school community support (parent and school administration). Many of the participants expressed their desire to have minimal interference from parents and the school but still wanting sufficient support and appreciation. They want to be paid enough to make a living and to have their role in the school seen as a legitimate career, not just a hobby. They want their earnings to be on par with other skilled professions within the education sector and outside it. They know that they are making a difference but they want higher value placed on the difference they are making, both in monetary terms as well as recognition and respect. It appears from the survey and interview data that conductors who feel appreciated and valued tend to be more satisfied. However, appreciation seems to take on different forms and different people value different aspects. For example, the amount of money someone gets paid may have a direct bearing on whether FSCs feel appreciated. Though interestingly, the survey results indicated that overall levels of job satisfaction were not affected significantly by an FSC’s hourly rate. Also, the level of respect they receive from colleagues, the school and parents is mentioned. Daniel described with a tone that mixed frustration and anger, his feelings of not being treated as a colleague and equal part of the music team at one of the schools where he worked. Always having to justify their existence is a tiring and stressful exercise for FSCs. With pressure from parents and school administrators for students to enjoy themselves, develop musically and keep them in the program. Several FSCs describe the aspect of attrition as a source of stress as well as always having to market oneself

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and ones’ value in the school. Linked in with this sense of justification is the process of managing the stress that arises from expectations—school, parents and selfimposed. Finally, the provision of adequate resources, rehearsals spaces are seen as directly relating to feeling appreciated and levels of job satisfaction (Heston et al., 1996). Daniel also described how not having something as simple as a desk affected his lifestyle as a FSC. Autonomy A large majority of FSCs in the survey agreed or strongly agreed that they had a lot of freedom in their decisions within the working environment. This would seem to indicate a level of autonomy. This was echoed in comments around creative freedom by one of the participants. However, throughout the interview process with Ken, Daniel and Ruth there was an underlying sense that even though they felt that they had a certain amount of freedom, there was an ever-present control exerted from most parent committees and school administration. It was as if FSCs are able to do what they like up until the point it interferes with another subject or a parent’s perception as to whether their child is having a good time. Remuneration and extra work The three interviewees all earned significant incomes from their freelance careers. However, like most of the survey participants, they earned incomes from outside their regular FSC engagements and have to work during the holidays. Not having holiday pay from an employed situation is a leading source of stress for FSCs and one that Daniel identifies (along with other leave provisions and superannuation) as a motivating factor in seeking a salary structure for school based conductors. Not being paid for all the aspects of an FSC in a school is also negatively influencing the way FSCs see what they do. With a classroom-teacher salary, there is an expectation of preparation built into the load as well as the salary. In addition, all of the benefits associated with employment are provided. Burnout and stress Whilst FSCs generally feel great about what they do and regularly feel that they are ‘making a difference’, there still remains periods of high stress, emotional and physical exhaustion leading at times to burnout. With 24% of participants having 89

consulted or considered consulting a medical professional, the issue of burnout needs to be addressed by all the stakeholders within the framework of freelance school conducting. From the interviews, it was clear that when Ruth, Ken and Daniel were describing the times in the school year where their stress was leading to physical symptoms such as lack of sleep, that this was affecting their overall satisfaction with lifestyle as conductors. This level of stress can best be attributed to stressors found within the broader concept of role stress—role overload and resource inadequacy (Scheib, 2003, 2004, 2006a, 2006b).

Educational implications
The thrust of this chapter is around those highly motivated individuals who are successfully navigating a portfolio career as a FSC like Ruth, Ken, and Daniel. It is thus inevitable that the implications explored will be influenced by these FSCs as well my own experiences. Nevertheless, the findings do prompt a number of recommendations that might ameliorate the opportunities for highly motivated FSCs to flourish in their work. The findings of the study would suggest that there is a need among the participants for training in business skills. Australian tertiary training in music does not seem structured to equip musicians with a protean or portfolio career in the music industry (Bennett, 2008b; Evans & Bodrova, 2011). Music Performance graduates embarking on a career as a FSC often have limited or no training in the aspects required to work as a FSC. Similarly, Music Education graduates, whilst trained in pedagogy, have no training in the skills necessary to operate as a self-employed professional. Interestingly, the Jazz course at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music has a compulsory course on Business Skills, whereas it is an optional elective for classical performance and education majors. This structure seems to assume that jazz musicians are more likely to operate as freelance musicians whereas classical performance majors and music teachers have an expectation that they will be appointed to a salaried position either within an orchestra or the classroom. However, despite the perceived need for training in entrepreneurship, innovation in curricular design around this area would need to be considered carefully in the light of funding pressures (Evans & Bodrova, 2011) and an already crowded curriculum at the tertiary level. In answer to this dilemma, the University of Western Sydney has

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recently launched a new Associate Diploma in Creative Industries, rather than try and integrate the content into existing traditional degree structures (Johnston, 2012). Motivation for ongoing professional development is mixed amongst the FSC profession and so as per the classroom-teacher model, it needs to be aligned with accreditation (A. Watson, 2010) and possibly suggested rates of pay. This would also help future parent committees in the recruitment of FSCs knowing that they have met certain industry and peer-established benchmarks. In order to facilitate this accreditation, a state or preferably national body such as ABODA, would need to be tasked with the maintenance of FSC accreditation. The results from participants seem to suggest that the suitability of ongoing professional development that is relevant to FSCs is limited in Australia. A recurring theme in the interviews and in my own experience is the success of mentoring in training young conductors and educators. Whilst learning ‘on the job’ is valuable experience, having learnt from others more experienced can greatly aid in a conductor’s development (Benson, 2008; Blair, 2008; Jacobs, 2008). Given the difficulty for some FSCs to access a mentor due to distance and availability, existing tertiary providers could deliver courses that will give teachers and qualified musicians accreditation as FSCs as well as short courses in business development. Nevertheless, as alluded to in the interviews and survey responses, past efforts involving FSC professional development have been unsuccessful at providing a coordinated and relevant training platform. Freelance versus salaried The freelance school conductor situation in NSW is in stark contrast to many states of the USA and in the neighbouring Australian state of Queensland. In Queensland Government schools, instrumental ensembles are directed by salaried instrumental teacher/conductors. Education Queensland’s Instrumental music program has been established for forty years in state schools. The program employs 400 instrumental music instructors (over 300 full-time positions) teaching in excess of 50,000 students annually (QLD Department of Education, 2012). These instrumental music instructors are regarded and paid equivalent to a classroom music teacher. There is a formal curriculum framework that exists (QLD Department of Education, 1990) and as a result the job of the conductor and the course of instruction undertaken by

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students is considered to be curricular rather than extra or co-curricular (Hardy, 2006). These Queensland conductors are employed by the state government to service a number of schools in the one area in order to make up a full-time load (where desired by the teacher). This career pathway is then reflected in the training offered at the pre-service level. That is, Queensland universities train teachers to be employed (not freelance) conductors in schools and to operate within the salaried and structured job environment offered by the government and many private schools in the state. Whilst there is no singular magic bullet to alleviate the concerns expressed by FSCs in this study, the desire for a salary and its associated benefits is a recurring theme. On the surface the Queensland and American situation would seem appealing for the participants in this study, however further research would need to be taken to identify the benefits and drawbacks of FSCs trading a portfolio career for a more structured, salaried lifestyle. That is, the ability to craft one’s level of involvement as a FSC and the perceived autonomy would need to be traded for a more fixed and collegial working environment. Perhaps instead, stakeholders in the success of school-based instrumental and choral programs need to look at ways in which remuneration, working environment and training can be enhanced to better enable FSCs to create a more sustainable and expandable portfolio career—if they so choose. For example, Bill Shorten MP, Federal Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, recently canvassed the idea of portable long-service leave for artists and musicians (Westwood, 2012).

Implications for further research
Part of the framework for this study came from the work of Hardy’s (2006) research into success factors of large instrumental programs in NSW public schools. Large instrumental and choral music education is a vital and significant part of the NSW school environment (Pascoe et al., 2005). This research endeavoured to focus on those individuals (FSCs) who are delivering via a freelance arrangement a critical component in many schools’ music education. As highlighted throughout this study there is a strong likelihood of sampling bias in this project. This is due to two main factors. Firstly, the size of the sample was in sufficient to arrive at empirically based findings that could be generalised

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across the FSC profession in NSW. As is evident in the survey results, there are numerous differences that emerge in the lives of FSCs depending on how they have chosen to construct their career. Secondly, despite efforts to make this project available to all members of the FSC community, it is clear that conductors who are motivated, professional and serious about the career are the ones most likely to complete the survey. Indeed it was these kind of colleagues who participated in the interview. In addition, with little representation of freelance choral conductors in the survey and none interviewed, the lives of these FSCs needs much deeper investigation. As a result, further research into a bigger sample size and deeper representation of the freelance conductor profession would be of great benefit. Following on from an increased depth and representation, there are many aspects of this study that could be applied more broadly to include all freelance school music educators, such as private music tutors. A longitudinal study into the careers of musicians who are primarily freelance educators would be of great benefit to the industry and future training design and government policy guidance. The training of musicians to be conductors and educators in schools needs continued investigation. FSCs clearly indicated that they did not achieve sufficient pre-service training or ongoing professional development to equip them to operate in their current capacity. There seems to be an increasing amount of research into the protean and portfolio nature of artists in general. What to include in undergraduate and professional development courses to meet the needs of FSCs with diverse musical career needs closer examination. Part of this training needs to include skills beyond the traditional ‘employability’ or technical skills taught by most music institutions (Bridgstock, 2011b). In particular, research needs to be undertaken into the lives of successful artist entrepreneurs and then how to transfer their success factors across into a method of curriculum delivery for aspiring FSCs. As alluded to in this chapter’s recommendations, many of the stress and job satisfaction factors associated with remuneration, working conditions and itinerancy could be alleviated if the concept of FSC was eliminated altogether. Detailed research needs to be undertaken by governments as to whether a Queensland type model could be implemented in NSW. With the advent of the National curriculum, research needs to be undertaken as to how instrumental music is delivered on a

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national basis and by extension how the individuals delivering instruction in this area (FSCs and peripatetic tutors) are trained, accredited and remunerated. Finally, I would welcome research into comparing the lives of those who pursue a conducting career that is focussed at top-level professional orchestras and those who choose to conduct in a traditional education setting (school, university, community). Comparing the levels of job satisfaction, lifestyle creation and musical fulfilment would be of great interest in providing budding conductors with multiple career choices that are engaging and sustainable.

Conclusion
In the opening pages of this study, I described the autobiographical motivations behind embarking on this project. It would seem that overall the participants were a highly motivated, highly professionalised group of determined, committed musicians. This came out in the qualitative data as well as profiles within the quantitative data. They have a high level of tertiary education and a lot of the commitment could be a response to my recruitment, where I approached participants through my own professional network. That is, people like me, highly committed and serious about their work. Hence this study is really a case study about such individuals. This study is not describing FSCs in general outside of the variability that occurs in the sample highlighted above and in Chapter 4. Freelance school conducting has been my life over the last six years and, except for a few freelance community and tertiary engagements, my sole source of income for the last three years. Through this time, I worked hard to develop myself as a conductor, educator and business owner. The impetus for this project came from a desire to see if my journey was the same for everyone and if not, what needs to be improved and how can it be. As Ruth mentions in a follow up email to the initial interview “the reality of freelance conducting is complicated but musically rewarding.” The reason I conduct and the reason many of the FSCs surveyed embarked upon their musical journey was due to the inspiration of their own school conductor. Instrumental and choral ensembles are a vital part of music education and by extension those educators who conduct these groups (whether they be classroom or FSCs) are important to the school communities in which they work. With this in

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mind, FSCs need to be able to earn at least the equivalent to a classroom teacher and be a recognised member of staff. It would also be beneficial if the rehearsals they delivered were a recognised unit of study (Hardy, 2006) within the curriculum. Measures need to be put in place—either by governments or the FSC community themselves through organisations such as ABODA—which create a legitimate ‘career’ pathway and sufficient income stream for current and future FSCs. If FSCs are not going to be brought in under the auspices of the NSW Department of Education and the relevant private school systems, then they need to be trained in how to operate successfully as a small business entrepreneur. Dealing with invoices and managing cash flow is a significant source of stress for FSCs and can be easily solved with adequate training. Successful entrepreneurs are also skilled at dealing with people—another source of stress for FSCs within their relationships with parents and the school community. Whilst FSCs in this study experience high levels of job satisfaction, they do experience acute moments of burnout. It appears that FSCs are generally at their peak levels of physical and emotional exhaustion around performances. This is understandable as the school community as well as the FSC themselves, views performing as the singular result of their work. However, it is purely a snapshot of a program in development over time and FSCs and their employers need to be educated in taking a long-term view. Interestingly, nearing the completion of this project I was offered a full-time salaried position as a Director of Bands in a private school and thus left the world of freelance school conducting entirely. One could say that my journey in and out of salaried employment has come full circle over the last six years. Like the freelance school conductors in this project, I love conducting student ensembles. Participation in ensembles is an important part of a young musicians development and needs to be led by mentors who are not only musically literate but also equipped to lead. Above all, it is my desire that more young musicians consider entering the profession of conducting students and are equipped to deal with its freelance nature.

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Abbreviations
ABODA AMEB ANCA ASME ATAR BAS DEC DET DETE GST HREC IAJE NSW QLD TAU Australian Band and Orchestra Directors Association Australian Music Examinations Board Australian National Choral Association Australian Society for Music Education Australian Tertiary Admission Rank Business Activity Statement Department of Education and Communities (NSW) Department of Education and Training (NSW) Department of Education, Training and Employment (QLD) Goods and Services Tax Higher Research Ethics Committee International Association for Jazz Education New South Wales Queensland The Arts Unit

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Appendix A: Ethics Approval Letter

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Appendix B: Participant Information Statements

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Appendix C: Consent Forms

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Appendix D: Questionnaire (Online)

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Appendix E: Interview Protocol Interview topics
Background • Tell me about your training prior to becoming a conductor in schools. ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ • ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ • • What are your formal qualifications? Were you trained in Education specific methods? For example, child psychology, types of learning, behaviour management. Are you a qualified classroom teacher? Were you trained in conducting? What did this training consist of? Were you trained in running your own business? Were you trained in organisational leadership and development? How many schools do you work at? What is the age range? What kind of ensembles do you direct? Public or Private or both?

What do you currently do?

Do you conduct outside of school? In what capacity Do you work in any other field apart from conducting in schools? Why

Employment Conditions • • • • • • • • • How are you paid? Do you have a contract? If so, for how long? Do you have a job description? What else do you have to do apart from conduct in the school? Administration duties? Are you re-imbursed? Do you have any leave provisions? Do you feel appreciated and supported by the school? Do you feel appreciated and supported by the parents? What do you feel is lacking in the employment conditions of freelance conductors? How much time do you spend chasing invoices/administration of your business?

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Are you also a classroom teacher? In the school where you conduct? How does this affect your conducting effectiveness?

Professional Development • • • • • Have you attended any professional development courses since you started working in schools? What were they? How did they help you? What development opportunities would you like personally? What development pathway should there be for conductors? Do you think conductors in schools should be accredited with a state or national body Do you think they need Education qualifications and formal conducting training? Job Satisfaction • • • • • • Do you enjoy conducting in schools? If you had a choice between working in schools and working with adult professionals, which would you prefer? Why? Do you plan rehearsals? Does this have an impact on your satisfaction? How? How long have you been working in schools as a conductor? Do you see yourself doing this until retirement? If not, why not? Have you ever suffered from burnout? Do you remember what brought this on?

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Appendix F: Scripts Email invitation
Dear Colleague, I am writing to you to see if you would be able to answer some questions for my thesis, in fulfilment of my Doctor of Musical Arts at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. I am undertaking a study that looks at job satisfaction, employment conditions, and training of freelance conductors working with school children in NSW.

The study will gather data through two methods—an interview and questionnaire. The short questionnaire can be completed anonymously online by clicking on the following link: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/358194/gilmourdma

At the beginning of the questionnaire will be a Participant Information Statement (PIS). Alternatively, you may complete a paper version of the questionnaire. Please provide your details by return email if you wish to complete a paper copy of the survey or would like a hard copy of the PIS posted to you.

If you are interested in also participating in a short interview, please reply to this email and I will post you the formal Interview Participant Information Statement and Consent Form approved by the University of Sydney.

Being in this study is completely voluntary and you are not under any obligation to consent. Please feel free to ask me any questions that you might have regarding this project. Thank you in advance, Yours sincerely, Luke Gilmour BMus, LRSM, LMusA, lgil7770@uni.sydney.edu.au 124

Website invitation
www.lukegilmour.wordpress.com If you are a freelance school conductor in NSW, please consider completing this survey…it will assist my DMA research into the profession. http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/358194/gilmourdma

Script for phone invitation
Student Researcher (SR): Hi ______ how are you? Potential Participant (PP): well thanks SR: Just a quick call, to see if I could tell you about my Masters research and see if you may be interested in participating in a survey and or interview? No pressure and feel free to say no. PP: Maybe, what does it involve? SR: The study looks at job satisfaction, employment conditions, and training of freelance conductors working with school children in NSW. PP: Sounds interesting... SR: I am gathering data through the questionnaire and interview. If you are interested in completing the questionnaire, it can be done online or I can post the information to you directly. Would you be interested?

If PP says yes: SR: great, can I grab your email and I will send you the link? PP: my email is.................... SR: thanks would you like a hard copy of the survey or Participant Information Statement posted to you? PP: Yes/No SR: Ok, thanks. Just one more question, would you like to be considered for an interview? It would take around 30 minutes at a convenient time for you. PP: Yes/No

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SR: If yes—great, could I please grab your postal address and I will send you the PIS and Consent Form for the interview and then will call or email to arrange a time. SR: If No—ok, no problems SR: Do you have any questions? (Answer as necessary) Feel free to spread the word to anyone who you think may be interested. My contact details are:...............Thanks for your time, see you later. PP: No problem, see you later

If PP says no: SR: Ok, no problem. Feel free to spread the word to anyone who you think may be interested. My contact details are:...............Thanks for your time, see you later. PP: catch you around.

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