Students' motivation to study music: The United States of America
AuthorMcPherson, GE; Hendricks, KS
Source TitleResearch Studies in Music Education
University of Melbourne Author/sMcPherson, Gary
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsMcPherson, G. E. & Hendricks, K. S. (2010). Students' motivation to study music: The United States of America. Research Studies in Music Education, 32 (2), pp.201-213. https://doi.org/10.1177/1321103X10384200.
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As a part of a larger international mapping exercise to examine students’ motivation to study music as compared to other school subjects, this article draws upon data from a sample of 3037 students in the USA to observe perceptions of values, competence and interest in music study (in school versus outside of school) among music learners and non-music learners. Students were grouped into three grade levels: (a) 6, (b) 7—9, and (c) 10—12. Music learners in the USA had significantly higher motivational profiles for music and some other school subjects as compared to non-music learners. Music interest inside of school was ranked significantly lower than for any other subject, while music interest outside of school was ranked second highest for any subject in grades 6 and 7—9, and highest of all subjects in grades 10—12. This article addresses cultural and contextual issues in the USA to consider how music advocates might better demonstrate the importance and usefulness of music study as an academic course. Practical recommendations include encouraging a broader emphasis beyond performance and competition, and promoting opportunities for autonomous music learning within the school setting.
KeywordsPerforming Arts and Creative Writing
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