Back of the Orchestra: High School Students' Experiences with Alternative Seating Practices

“Are you crazy?” This is the first response I often get from orchestra teachers who hear that I randomize my seating for concerts and competitions. This practice has revolutionized my teaching, empowered my students, and after many challenges and obstacles, has led to unexpected success in the various dimensions of the social and musical experience for my orchestra students. This research examines the narrative of a particular set of students and their support communities, and will present qualitative data as well as a body of research into pedagogy and practice around seating schemes.