a1 Faculty of Education, Monash University, Clayton 3800, Victoria, Australia (retired) E-mail: email@example.com
This article reports on a study of participants in a Weekend Warriors Program for ‘lapsed’ rock musicians in Melbourne, Australia. It observes musicians over a six-week period that included a jam session, coaching sessions and a gig (concert). It examines the learning pathways of participants and their goals and experiences alongside those of the programme organisers within the comparative context of music learning practices among young and older musicians and in the light of academic research into the midlife ageing process. A question that arises from the data is the extent to which the experience and actions of middle-aged women musicians coincides with the literature on gender in youth rock music scenes and the literature on music, ageing and gender. The article concludes that the Weekend Warriors Program draws on the learning practices that the musicians involved had adopted in their youth and which act as a catalyst for their further musical and social participation and self-directed group learning. Age appeared to create no barrier to their enjoyment or their achievements; indeed in many ways it seemed to make them less inhibited and self-conscious in realising individual objectives that were further encouraged by working within a supportive if loosely bonded group.
Helen O'Shea, after completing a doctorate in social sciences, was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Education at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, where she researched the informal learning of Irish traditional music and older musicians' learning and performance experiences. She is a practising musician and the author of The Making of Irish Traditional Music (Cork University Press, 2008).
1. ‘Get Back’ is a Lennon/McCartney song, the final track on The Beatles' final album, Let It Be. Apple Records, AR34001, 1970.