This case study examined how participation in a high school musical theater production formed a community of practice, which impacted students’ personal development. Interviews with five students from the cast of the musical at a suburban public high school constituted the primary source of data; supplemental data included a performance observation, the performance program, and informal anecdotes. Data presentation included a narrative vignette to provide rich, thick description. Prestructured case analysis aligned the findings to the elements of communities of practice, specifically meaning, practice, community, and identity, and pattern coding analysis revealed the themes of family and work. Consistent with the literature, data indicated that participation in a high school musical theater production fostered positive social and personal development through the formation of a community of practice. Suggestions for future research include examining the ways in which school musical theater productions can meet state and national standards, the presence of musical theater pedagogy in teacher training programs, analyzing high school musicals through the lens of family theory, and further investigating the emergent themes of this current study.
"Part of it All: The High School Musical as a Community of Practice,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 24, Article 2.
Available at: https://opencommons.uconn.edu/vrme/vol24/iss1/2