ISSN: 17526299
First published in 2008
3 issues per volume
Volume 6 Issue 2
Cover Date: July 2013
From dabbler to serious amateur musician and beyond: Clarifying a crucial step
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Authors:  Robert A. Stebbins 
DOI: 10.1386/ijcm.6.2.141_1

Keywords
amateur,dabbler,neophyte,leisure,serious leisure,music education

Abstract
Dabbling is casual leisure, a hedonic activity common in music as well as in a number of other free-time interests. In the past, dabbling has been inadequately conceptualized, one result being some misunderstanding about its nature and its contribution to leisure and even to professional work. By way of clarification we look first at the contemporary explanation of dabbling as set out according to the serious leisure perspective, a main analytic framework in the field of leisure studies. This explanation proceeds from two related articles written by Gates and Jorgensen. Next, dabbling as a leisure activity in music is considered in detail, particularly as it relates to children. This includes an examination of its nature and its role in initiating a leisure/work career in music, as experienced in the passage from dabbler to neophyte amateur and on possibly to professional.
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