For this research, I utilized an ethnographic case study to examine the role of humility within a competitive high school jazz band in the western United States. The current study draws from recent humility research stemming from the field of positive psychology and offers an initial understanding of these perspectives in music education. From this research, a 5-component definition of humility particular to musical participation was established, resulting in an emergent construct presently referred to as musical humility: (a) purposeful musical engagement and collaboration, (b) lack of superiority, (c) acknowledgement of shortcomings and learnability, (d) other-orientedness, and (e) healthy pride. This initial step in musical humility research contributes to the growing ontology of “humilities” currently identified within social psychology, including general humility, intellectual humility, cultural humility, and others. Through this study, I posit that musical experiences rooted in humility enable the enhancement of both musical and social relationships, which serve to cultivate other-oriented and prosocial ways of being both within music participation and society more broadly.

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