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Title:Adolescents' motivation to study music as compared to other school subjects: A Singaporean perspective
Author(s):Koh, Chee Kang
Director of Research:McPherson, Gary E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Bergonzi, Louis S.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):McPherson, Gary E.; DeNardo, Gregory; Robinson-Cimpian, Joseph P.
Department / Program:Music
Discipline:Music Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):early adolescents
expectancy-value theory
Gender Differences
music education
music students
non-music students
primary-secondary transition
school subjects
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to examine the expectancies and task values held by Singaporean adolescents about learning music and other school subjects (English, Mathematics, Science, Physical Education, and Art) across Primary 6, Secondary 1, and Secondary 2 levels (Grades 6 to 8). The data was analyzed according to gender and music student status (music students, high aspiring non-music students, low aspiring non-music students) in order to provide suggestions that would foster music instruction within the Singaporean school system. A total of n = 1,733 participants from three primary and four secondary schools in Singapore completed a web-based survey questionnaire that was grounded in the Eccles and Wigfield expectancy-value theoretical framework as adapted in a series of studies by McPherson and his colleagues. The study found that music and non-music students held different perceptions of competence and valuing about school music. School music was generally less valued by students, particularly the low aspiring non-music students, when compared to the other school subjects. In addition, it was found that valuing of music among older adolescents was lower than their younger counterparts. Finally, the study found that students’ perceived usefulness of school music predicted their intention to enroll in instrumental music instruction outside of school. Implications arising from the study highlight the need for the music profession to evolve students’ negative attitudes towards school music. Providing students with positive classroom musical experiences and adopting differential teaching approaches to cater to students’ varied motivational profiles towards studying music in school were suggested as ways of raising the status of school music education. The need to assert and substantiate the role music can and should play in the education of all children is a continuing challenge within the Singapore education system, but one that must be addressed if school music is to become a more prominent subject within schools.
Issue Date:2011-05-25
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Chee Kang Koh
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-25
Date Deposited:2011-05

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