-What do you mean exactly by “impacted?”  We can have an “impact” on someone in just about any way.  I recommend more specificity regarding what kind of impact you’re talking about, because this will help you narrow your focus.  Perhaps you could start by unpacking further what O’Neill means by “positive development” and “musical flourishing,” as I believe this is where you believe you’re examining “impact.”  What kind of development?  What do you mean by flourishing?  Be able to give some concrete examples that really fully define these ideas.  You’ll want to use O’Neill’s words (think concept organizer here) to define what she means by flourishing, engagement, and even “positive.”
Impact:  I mean this word in two ways.  First there is the social impact of being a student leader in an ensemble.  Growth will occur, along with investment in the future of the ensemble, in a different vein under this paradigm.  The second way would be in the musical sense.  Students as leaders need to be more prepared than their peers either out of an intrinsic motivation that leads them to be ready to lead by example or through the act of helping others develop their own musicianship through learning music or by working on their peers motivation for being a member of the ensemble.
For the dissertation, I am interested in what the student takes away from the experience of being engaged in music making/performance. Teachers see their role in creating a musical experience for student that will engage and enrich the lives of their students, but what do the students take away from that experience?  In what ways are they changed?  Do their musical skills grow?  Does their world view change after interacting with other students in a musical way?  In a leadership capacity?  What do they take into the world, which may be predominantly non-musical for them, that they collected during their time in band?

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