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The role of parents in children's musical development



A framework for studying parent-child interactions is proposed, based on evidence that parents play a pivotal role in their children's musical development. It is suggested that the goals and aspirations that parents hold impact on the styles and practices they adopt during interactions with their children. Importantly, the model proposes a feedback loop in which child and socio-contextual characteristics interact with parenting goals, styles and practices to help shape children's musical competence and achievement, their sense of musical identity and accomplishment, and their continuing desire to participate, exert effort, overcome obstacles and succeed musically.
A RT I C L E 1
The role of parents in children’s
musical development
G A RY E . M C P H E R S O N
U N I V E R S I T Y O F I L L I N O I S A T U R B A N A - C H A M PA I G N , USA
A B S T R AC T A framework for studying parent–child interactions is proposed, based on
evidence that parents play a pivotal role in their children’s musical development. It is
suggested that the goals and aspirations that parents hold impact on the styles and
practices they adopt during interactions with their children. Importantly, the model
proposes a feedback loop in which child and socio-contextual characteristics interact
with parenting goals, styles and practices to help shape children’s musical competence
and achievement, their sense of musical identity and accomplishment, and their
continuing desire to participate, exert effort, overcome obstacles and succeed musically.
K E Y WO R D S : home environment, musical development, music motivation, parent–child interac-
tions, parental practices, parental style
During the past 30 years, some of the most important advances in understanding
children’s psychological functioning and achievement have come from research that
focuses on the socialization processes that occur in the home, with results showing a
consistently positive effect of parental influences on student achievement, attitudes,
behaviour and learning (Asmus, 2006; Pomerantz, Grolnick, & Price, 2005). As with
other areas of children’s development, the home environment is crucial in early musi-
cal development (Asmus, 1985, 1986; Brand, 1986). Beginning at a young age, chil-
dren develop resilient attitudes, beliefs and expectations about their potential to learn
music that have been instilled in them through interactions with their parents
(McPherson & Davidson, 2002, 2006). Parents are critical to a child’s ongoing suc-
cess in all areas of their education and this is particularly true in music, a subject
that involves particularly high demands (McPherson & Zimmerman, 2002).
Only a handful of studies have examined the role of parents in children’s musical
development. This stands in contrast to a growing body of literature available in
educational and developmental psychology that details how parents influence their
children’s achievement. Recently, Creech and Hallam (2003) have discussed the
dynamic relationship between the parent, teacher and pupil, to document interac-
tions that can influence outcomes for all three groups in instrumental tuition. The
model they propose examines these interactions from the perspective of a systems
Psychology of Music
Psychology of Music
Copyright © 2008
Society for Education, Music
and Psychology Research
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Psychology of Music OnlineFirst, published on October 15, 2008 as doi:10.1177/0305735607086049
2 Psychology of Music
approach, in that it provides a framework for understanding certain types of human
behaviour and communication between teachers, parents and students that work
together in the context of instrumental music lessons. The model proposed here, how-
ever, draws the lens in much closer to explain the psychological principles that under-
pin specific types of parent–child interactions within the home environment. I consider
this view particularly important for helping to frame the types of parent–child inter-
actions and ‘emotional climates’ that occur separately from, or in conjunction with,
formal and informal music learning. The major purpose of this article, therefore, is to
synthesize evidence from educational and developmental psychology with what is
known in music, in order to propose a model that can be used to frame the critical
types of parent–child interactions that have an impact on music learning.
Children’s psychological needs
Very recent research in developmental psychology has focused on competence (Elliot
& Dweck, 2005) and motivation to succeed (Eccles, Wigfield, & Schiefele, 1998). As
shown by Pomerantz et al. (2005), these theoretical positions are important because
they highlight the social contextual forces present in the parent–child interactions
that influence children’s learning. A key principle embedded in these explanations is
that parents enable their children to positively approach achievement through an
innate need to feel:
! Competent: The more children perceive themselves as competent, the more they
are likely to engage in learning tasks, utilize the skills and strategies they pos-
sess, persist when they confront difficulties and achieve success (Austin,
Renwick, & McPherson, 2006). In their early years, the most important feedback
children use to form conceptions of their own competence comes from parents
(Wigfield et al., 1997).
! Autonomous: Children have a basic need to feel autonomous; that is, to make
independent choices. Parents who support their children’s development of auton-
omy are more likely to have children who are self-regulated, display greater com-
petence and achieve at a higher level, possess fewer learning difficulties, and take
more overall responsibility for their own learning (Grolnick, Gurland, Jacob, &
DeCourcey, 2002).
! Related: Children need to feel connected to their parents by a strong loving bond
(Pomerantz et al., 2005). High levels of intrinsic motivation for music are more
likely to occur when parents and teachers support children in warm, caring and
non-threatening environments (McPherson & Davidson, 2006). In contrast, lower
levels of intrinsic motivation can become apparent when adults ignore children’s
work on interesting activities (Deci & Ryan, 2000).
! Purposeful: Success and enjoyment are outcomes of learning when children feel
that the activity in which they are engaged is meaningful and valuable, and that
it relates to their own personal goals. A sense of purpose helps to prevent boredom
and enhances opportunities to experience success (Ryff & Singer, 1998).
Children are likely to approach activities with which they are engaged more positively
when the above psychological needs are satisfied (Pomerantz et al., 2005). When
these occur, children are better placed to draw on the regulatory resources that will
enable them to form positive judgments about whether or not they wish to achieve
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and why, hold more positive personal beliefs about their capacity to achieve
(as reflected in higher feelings of self-worth and self-efficacy for mastering difficult
activities) and draw on more effective learning strategies that help them persist with
their learning as they strive to achieve the goals that they personally view as important
(Pomerantz et al., 2005).
Parents (and perhaps mothers more so than fathers) play a critical role in the
processes outlined above (West, Noden, & Edge, 1998). In educational literature, par-
enting has often been defined according to two separate dimensions: parenting style
and parenting practices. Parenting style is defined as the ‘constellation of attitudes
toward the child that are communicated to the child and that, taken together, create
an emotional climate in which the parent’s behaviours are expressed’ (Darling &
Steinberg, 1993, p. 488), while parenting practice relates to the specific behaviours
used to socialize children.
Studying the relationship between specific parenting practices and educational
outcomes appears to be logical. Parenting practices are specific behaviours (e.g., being
present at music lessons, helping with practice, attending concerts) that parents adopt
to realize the socialization goals they hold for their child (e.g., being successful at
music, enjoying musical participation). In much of the initial research literature, both
in education (e.g., studies of how parents help their child with homework) and in
music (e.g., studies of how parents help their child with musical practice; see Brokaw,
1983; Doan, 1973; McPherson & Davidson, 2002), these parental practices have
been shown to have a direct influence on children’s educational achievement out-
comes (Spera, 2005, 2006), as depicted in Figure 1.
Unfortunately, explanations that are restricted to these two dimensions have serious
limitations because the relationship between parenting practices and achievement is
mediated by many other factors. For example, two siblings may exhibit different levels
of achievement even though their parents use similar practices to help both children
with their musical development. As shown below, attempts to study a direct link
between specific parenting practices and educational outcomes without acknowledg-
ing other influential aspects of the home environment are therefore simplistic. The
home environment is complex, so studying parental practices alone does not help us
to discriminate with sufficient accuracy between the various complex, dynamic rela-
tionships that operate within families.
My reconceptualized model (see Figure 2) depicts how the goals parents hold for
their child’s musical education (and more generally) lead to the types of styles and
practices they adopt when interacting with their child. The interactive
feedback loops within the model also show how parental goals, styles and practices
are mediated by child characteristics and other sociocultural factors, which in turn
McPherson: The role of parents in children’s musical development 3
Parenting practices Children’s achievement
FIGURE 1 Parenting practices and children’s achievement.
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4 Psychology of Music
expressed through
Child characteristics
Degree to which learning music is:
emotionally or physically demanding
Personal feelings of musical:
Personal beliefs about:
musical ability
the immediate and long-term value of
musical participation
Degree of musical engagement:
Socio-contextual characteristics
Social and cultural contexts in which
parent–child interactions occur
Child outcomes
Musical competence and
Sense of musical identity
and accomplishment
Continuing desire to:
exert effort
overcome obstacles
Parenting style
Parent cognition and affect that:
communicate attitudes and values,
create an emotional climate, and
convey attitudes about the child
Parenting goals
Shaped by:
Parenting practices
Parent behaviours that are:
convey attitudes about
the child’s behaviour
FIGURE 2 Parent–child interactions in children’s musical learning.
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support and help frame a number of child outcomes, the most important of which
are competence and achievement, a sense of musical identity and accomplishment,
and the continuing desire to participate, exert effort, overcome obstacles and succeed.
These processes, based on recent psychological evidence, are depicted in Figure 2 and
explained in more detail in the following sections.
Parental orientations
Parents have basic ideas about how they want to raise their children and specific
views about what they want them to achieve. Parenting involves socializing children
by raising them to be able to participate in society (Spera, 2006). The values, beliefs,
attitudes and aspirations held by parents shape the specific goals they hold for their
children (Spera, 2006; Wentzel, 1998). For example, parents might aspire for their
children high academic achievement, sporting ability, good manners, a strong work
ethic, good interpersonal relations, and so on. Parental socialization goals influence
parental styles, that is, the ‘emotional climate’ in which parental attitudes and values
can be expressed to the child. These goals also influence parental practices, as evi-
denced in the specific actions and messages parents convey to their children about
their behaviour (Spera, 2006).
In music, parental styles and practices help satisfy children’s most basic psycho-
logical needs, which are to feel competent, to feel that they have some control over
the choices to be made during the learning process, to feel a strong bond between
their parents and their teachers within a non-threatening learning environment and
to enjoy the success that comes from engaging meaningfully as a result of personally
rewarding musical experiences (McPherson & Davidson, 2006).
Parental cognition and affect influence how attitudes and values are conveyed to child-
ren and the degree to which parents are able to create the type of emotional climate
that is conducive to effective music learning.
Parental cognition
Like the behaviours that parents exhibit when interacting with their child, the beliefs
they hold are vital. We have known since the 1950s that parental expectations and
aspirations are closely connected with children’s level of self-esteem, motivation, and
achievement. More recent evidence shows that children’s perceptions of competence
are shaped more strongly by parents than by teachers (see survey, Pomerantz et al.,
2005). Put more directly, the more accurately a parent views his or her child’s com-
petence, the better that child will perform (Miller, Manhal, & Mee, 1991).
In the achievement motivation literature, evidence has emerged demonstrating
that parents socialize their children in ways that are consistent with their perceptions
of how well they feel they are doing academically (e.g., Eccles, 1983; Halle, Kurtz-
Costes, & Mahoney, 1997; Jodl, Michael, Malanchuk, Eccles, & Sameroff, 2001). As
Pomerantz and Dong (2006) explain, ‘Inherent in this portrayal is the idea that par-
ents view competence as relatively fixed, so that they use their perceptions to guide
McPherson: The role of parents in children’s musical development 5
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6 Psychology of Music
children toward the niches for which they believe children are suited’ (p. 951). As an
extension to this view, Pomerantz and Dong have shown that mothers who hold a
fixed view of competence possess attitudes about their child’s learning that actually
foreshadow their child’s achievement and create a self-fulfilling prophecy. In contrast,
mothers who viewed competence as malleable did not predict their child’s achieve-
ment. When explaining these findings, Pomerantz and Dong suggest that the main
factor concerns the degree to which parents believe competence to be something that
cannot be easily changed. The more fixed parents view their child’s competence, the
more self-fulfilling is their perception.
This finding has particular relevance given the widely held but inaccurate view
that musicians are born rather than made and that musical ability is therefore the
result of a special innate gift or natural talent that a child either does or does not pos-
sess (Davis, 1994; Gagné, Blanchard, & Bégin, 2001; McPherson, 2006a; Lehmann,
Sloboda, & Woody, 2007; Winner, 1996). This misconception became evident in a
study I conducted to examine mother–child interactions during the first year of musi-
cal learning (see McPherson & Davidson, 2002). Interviews with mothers before their
children started learning showed that some held a fixed view that their child might
not have sufficient ability to cope with the demands of music. Consequently, very soon
after learning commenced, many of the mothers of unsuccessful learners withdrew
their support for practice, based on their assessment that the child was not coping
emotionally, that if he or she was really interested then practice would be completed
anyway, or because they were unwilling themselves to invest in the time and effort
needed to regulate their child’s daily practice schedule. Unfortunately, the fixed
perceptions of children’s musical competence held by some mothers partly explained
why some of the unsuccessful learners came to feel that they did not have the
necessary ability to cope with the demands of learning music. McPherson and
Davidson (2002) concluded therefore that some of the mothers had actually given up
on their child as a potential musician much sooner than the child had come to feel
the same way.
This attitude can be seen in other ways. For example, a commonly held view is
that music is a subject that has high intrinsic value but low attainment and utility
value (McPherson, 2006a). As an example, parents may provide their children with
a music education based on their belief that their child will enjoy and find music
interesting during their time at school while at the same time holding the view that
music is not as important or useful as other ‘academic’ school subjects in terms of
future preparation for life and a career. Consequently, how parents regard music
(as compared to other learning opportunities) has far-reaching consequences for chil-
dren’s musical education and on the interactions depicted in Figure 2 (McPherson,
2006a; see also McPherson, 2000).
Parental affect
Related to parental perceptions of competence are the feelings that parents have for
their child. Parents breed feelings of relatedness and closeness within the family
environment, which are vital for their children to develop a sense of autonomy and pur-
posefulness. Close parent–child bonding also results in other positive benefits for child-
ren, such as being more mastery-oriented, a willingness to utilize more sophisticated
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McPherson: The role of parents in children’s musical development 7
cognitive skills and higher achievement (Pomerantz et al., 2005). It is self-
evident therefore that parental affect plays a key role in children’s music learning.
Parents employ specific behaviours and strategies to help socialize their children.
These behaviours most often occur in the context of a specific domain and are inter-
ventions in or reactions to children’s behaviour that convey information about how
the parent feels about what the child is doing or has done (Pomerantz et al., 2005).
Research shows that parental behaviour is particularly effective if it involves struc-
turing. However, to be most effective it should be autonomy-supportive rather than
controlling and should help focus the child on processes to be employed in learning.
Parents’ ability to focus their child on effort (e.g., ‘You’re working hard, and I can
hear how quickly you’re improving’) rather than fixed ability perceptions (‘You don’t
seem to be very good at that. What’s wrong?’) are crucial (Pomerantz et al., 2005).
Other forms of parental involvement such as providing resources (e.g., purchasing
a music stand or new instrument), acting interested in what the child is learning
(e.g., ‘Can you play that new piece for me?’) and being more generally interested in the
child’s life all facilitate learning and involvement. Parental involvement also occurs
when a parent participates in supportive activities (such as joining the school’s music
committee), sits with the child when practising an instrument, or more generally talks
about musical learning (e.g., ‘How did you go in your music lesson today? Did you
learn anything new?’). Parents extend their support through taking their child to
concerts, purchasing additional resources to enhance learning (e.g., CD and record-
ings), expressing excitement over their child’s successes (such as when a beginner has
mastered a new piece) and keeping abreast of what is going on in lessons. Indeed,
parental behaviours of these types are critical for children’s ongoing musical success
(see McPherson & Davidson, 2006).
Parental behaviour of the type described above help children develop skills that
then lead to feelings of competence. They also reinforce for the child that the parent
is interested in what he or she is doing; and, if the activity is also valued, they develop
a sense of relatedness that fosters a closeness between parent and child that acts as
a buffer during periods when the child experiences difficulties or obstacles that
hinder progress (see Pomerantz et al., 2005 for academic achievement; McPherson &
Davidson, 2006 for music learning). In summary, when parents foster a sense of
competence, their child will feel more competent and more in control of his or her
learning (Grolnick & Slowiaczek, 1994).
When parents work proactively to provide information, guidelines and feedback,
they enhance their child’s feelings of competence and help structure their child’s learn-
ing environment in ways that facilitate and enhance the acquisition of skills
(Pomerantz et al., 2005). Parents can also help to scaffold learning by subtle variations
of the amount of information they provide within the range of their child’s current
capabilities by tailoring their interactions depending on how the child is progressing
(Pomerantz et al., 2005). If the child is doing well, assistance can be decreased.
However, if the child is struggling, he or she will need extra assistance.
Importantly, also, some parents will react to external reports of poor progress only
when they are made aware that there is a problem or perceive that their child is
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8 Psychology of Music
having difficulties (Pomerantz & Eaton, 2001). In my longitudinal study with begin-
ning music students (McPherson & Davidson, 2002, 2006), I found that parents who
were willing to invest time and effort to support their child’s musical learning were
often unsure how to help their child cope with difficulties and deal with the frustra-
tions that arose during the early stages of learning. In conversations with mothers
of children who ceased playing, many spoke about the frustrations they experienced
when trying to encourage their child to practise or attend lessons. As a consequence,
once they felt that their child was not keeping up or lacked ability, some of these
mothers would steer their child to another activity that they believed would be more
rewarding and less stressful.
Better music learners are more likely to be self-regulated and know how to work
autonomously (McPherson & Zimmerman, 2002). Parents play an important part in
developing these skills. For example, parents who are more autonomy-supportive
rather than controlling tend to have children who are more likely to explore their
own environment, monitor and control their own learning, and be more active in
the way that they solve problems and cope with difficulties (Pomerantz
et al., 2005). Children are far less likely to succeed and cope with their musical learn-
ing when their parents exert pressure through orders, commands, instructions and
restrictions. The main benefit of autonomy-supportive parenting is that this support
encourages children to take initiative in order to develop stronger feelings of compe-
tence as they start to solve challenges by themselves (Grolnick, Gurland, DeCourcey, &
Jacob, 2002; Pomerantz & Ruble, 1998).
Additional conceptions extend this view by proposing that an ideal parental style
for developing a child’s sense of competence is authoritative, that is, one in which the
parent displays high involvement in the child’s learning, high structuring of the envi-
ronment in which the learning takes place and high autonomy-support. In contrast,
authoritarian parental involvement characterized by low involvement, high structure
and high control is far less likely to breed feelings of competence (Pomerantz et al.,
2005; Steinberg, Lamborn, Darling, Mounts, & Dornbusch, 1994).
As shown by Pomerantz et al. (2005), when parents respond to their children’s
accomplishments by acknowledging their hard work, reacting to their frustrations by
focusing them on the learning goals, reminding them that working hard is more
important than achieving high grades and helping them develop strategies that will
serve them well in their learning, they are displaying a process orientation that
fosters feelings of competence in the child. In contrast, parents who employ a person
orientation focus more on praising the child’s ability, which in turn expresses to them
that they will be personally disappointed if they do not continue to achieve at a high
level. The danger of adopting a person orientation is that children might start to feel
that their parents are pushing them with little regard to the process employed and
that they therefore have little control over their own ability.
Parental influences are not a one-way process, so conceptions proposing that parents
socialize their children in a unidirectional manner are deficient. There are many
instances that could be cited, for example, where a child’s initial interest in music
acts as a catalyst for his or her parents to become supportive and interested to the
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McPherson: The role of parents in children’s musical development 9
extent that they will devote enormous amounts of time and resources to help their
child learn music (Howe & Sloboda, 1991; Sosniak, 1985, 1987). Children’s charac-
teristics as well as social-contextual forces appear therefore to be the prime modera-
tors of parental cognition, affect and behaviour (Pomerantz et al., 2005).
Child characteristics
As shown previously, parents play a critical role in shaping how children come to feel
competent, autonomous, related and purposeful. To understand this dynamic process
further, however, it is important to investigate how and in what situations parents are
receptive to their children’s beliefs and expectations. As shown by McPherson (2000),
even beginning musicians as young as seven or eight are able to quickly form an
impression of how competent they are at coping with their new instrument. In this
study, the children could differentiate between their interest in learning a musical
instrument, the importance to them of being good at music, whether they believed
their learning would be useful to their short- and long-term goals and the cost of par-
ticipation in terms of the effort needed to continue improving.
The degree to which the parents influenced the children’s expectations and valu-
ing of their future music lessons as reported by McPherson (2000) is unknown.
However, the impression gained from the extensive interviews with the mothers and
the children throughout the first three years of learning are in accord with psycho-
logical research (e.g., Pomerantz et al., 2005), which suggests that parents who adopt
controlling practices will be far less successful than parents who use autonomy-
support practices in helping children who view themselves as incompetent.
Controlling practices fail children because they reinforce perceptions that the child is
not coping and has less ability than others.
Parents also have a major role in helping children who are experiencing difficul-
ties to cope when irritable (Pomerantz et al., 2005), especially when they are able to
put their own frustrations aside in order to focus their child on the enjoyable aspects
of learning. It is especially important, therefore, for parents to be willing to put up
with the uncomfortable squawks and noises that typify children’s early attempts to
master a range of basic instrumental skills and to maintain a positive attitude dur-
ing periods when they themselves are frustrated or angry with their child’s attitude
or approach to music learning. Such practices are generally more successful for pro-
moting motivation, persistence and ongoing musical involvement, especially during
times when music learning is demanding and stressful for a child (McPherson &
Davidson, 2006).
Many facets underpin children’s personal beliefs for learning music. The level of child-
ren’s commitment to music is partially shaped by parental influences, the expecta-
tions children hold for becoming competent and the value children place on their
engagement during the process of learning. In music, six dimensions have been iden-
tified that help to explain the types of expectations children hold for their musical
learning and the degree to which they value their musical participation (McPherson &
Davidson, 2006):
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10 Psychology of Music
! Interest the personal satisfaction gained from learning music.
! Importance the degree to which learning music fits with personal goals about
what one hopes to be good at.
! Usefulness whether learning music is constructive and functional for what the
child wishes to do now and in the future.
! Difficulty whether the learning process creates obstacles or is perceived as being
more difficult than other activities.
! Competence for which participating in music becomes an activity in which the
child would like to succeed.
! Confidence the empowerment felt for developing the skills necessary to master
challenges associated with learning music (e.g., whether the learning process is
fraught with pressures and anxieties that diminish confidence and a sense of self-
Every time children choose to devote effort to music, they are making decisions in the
context of a complex social reality in which they have many choices, each of which
has immediate and long-term consequences (Eccles, 2005). Very often, their choices
are made from a number of viable options. In the context of the home environment,
choosing to go off and practise an instrument might be just as viable as finishing off
a school assignment or choosing to go out and play with friends. Faced with these
types of decisions, students will very often choose the option that they value most
unless their decision has been shaped by their parents. Thus, in order to understand
why a child chooses some options over others we must discern the child’s hierarchy
of subjective task values, not the absolute value the child places on each of them, in
addition to the parent’s role in this decision-making process (Eccles, 2005).
Children’s performance on specific tasks is influenced heavily by the degree to which
they expect their engagement to be interesting, important, useful and difficult, their
valuing of the activity, and their feelings of competence and confidence (Warton,
2001; Wigfield et al., 1997). As described previously, these attributes are established
even before children arrive at their first music lessons as a result of interactions with
their parents, who shape their expectations and valuing of music as well as their
educational attainment (McPherson & Davidson, 2006; Wigfield & Eccles, 2000).
In the psychological literature on motivation, studies concerned with self-beliefs are
so prevalent that they dominate the field (Graham & Weiner, 1996). Among the most
important are the types of judgments people make about their capacity to organize
and execute actions to attain chosen goals (Bandura, 1977, 1997). Self-efficacy judg-
ments of this type are defined in terms of what a person thinks he or she can do and
have consistently been shown to be powerful predictors of student achievement across
a number of domains (Bandura, 1997). In music, self-efficacy is an effective predictor
of children’s capacity to perform music in stressful situations (McCormick &
McPherson, 2003; McPherson & McCormick, 2006), and therefore crucial in an area
as difficult and taxing as learning music, where ‘insidious self-doubts can easily over-
rule the best of skills’ (Bandura, 1997, p. 35; McPherson & Davidson, 2006).
The seminal figure in self-efficacy research is Albert Bandura (1977, 1997),
whose contribution has helped shape thinking for the past three decades. In a recent
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McPherson: The role of parents in children’s musical development 11
publication, Bandura (2006) outlines how self-efficacy beliefs influence children’s
lives and aspirations. Importantly, within his conception, Bandura has been able to
write extensively from the perspective of children’s ability to make choices as they
actively reflect, regulate and organize their own learning. The collective efficacy
within a family, according to Bandura (2006):
is not simply the sum of the members’ beliefs in their individual efficacies. Rather, it is
a shared belief in their family’s capability to work together to manage and improvise their
lives. It is an emergent group belief because it incorporates the interactive dynamics of the
family system operating collectively. The collective whole can be greater or lesser than
the efficacy parts depending on whether the family transactions are mutually supportive
and enabling or wrangling and debilitating. (p. 9)
Within the above conception, children acquire information from their parents that
shape their own beliefs and sense of competence. Indeed, Creech (2001) has shown
that parental efficacy is essential in sustaining children’s musical interest, particularly
in the early stages of learning. Her study provides evidence that parents who possess
a strong sense of self-efficacy for their child’s musical learning, construct a role for
themselves within the learning process such that they are more likely to attend
lessons, keep in contact with the teacher, help to instill discipline and focus in practice
sessions, and support their child emotionally during difficult or taxing periods.
The above findings imply that parents should aim to provide an environment that
offers some degree of challenge within a loving, supportive atmosphere where high
but realistic aspirations are encouraged. Within this environment, children should
also be exposed to positive role models, supported through mastery experiences and
taught to deal with difficulties and obstacles in a constructive manner (Schunk &
Meece, 2006). These effects are reciprocal, because parents often respond positively
when their child displays curiosity and a willingness to engage in new activities, espe-
cially those experiences that parents themselves value and wish to encourage.
Successful parents therefore promote positive competence perceptions and modify
their expectations and demands in line with their child’s needs, abilities and disposi-
tions (Eccles et al., 1998; Schunk & Meece, 2006).
Another important factor is socioeconomic status in that families with less income
or less experience with music may be less able or willing to devote financial resources
to their child’s musical education (e.g., continuing to pay for lessons or to purchase
an instrument) unless they feel that the child is succeeding and has the potential to
make the most of these resources.
In schools, the situation for music is even more pronounced. Very recent evidence
(McPherson, 2006b) using the expectancy-value motivation framework to study child-
ren’s beliefs about a range of school subjects shows that children report that their par-
ents expect them to do less work in music compared to other school subjects,
view music as a less important school subject and do not expect them to work as hard
in music as other academic subjects. It seems self-evident that parents rely heavily on
tangible indicators such as school grades or actual performance when forming percep-
tions about their child’s learning. However, parental perceptions are also shaped by cul-
tural stereotypes in that parents hold expectations for their children’s long-term
success that may differ from the children’s immediate interests (Schunk & Meece,
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12 Psychology of Music
2006). By conveying their expectations directly through verbal feedback and indirectly
through support and encouragement, parents convey information that subsequently
affects their children’s expectations and self-efficacy (Schunk & Meece, 2006).
Children need help from others particularly in situations where they are unable or
unwilling to set goals and anticipate the consequences of their actions (Zimmerman &
Cleary, 2006). Accordingly, parents can play a particularly important role in child-
ren’s musical education by influencing the degree to which children become metacog-
nitively, motivationally and behaviourally active participants in their own learning.
The basis of self-regulated learning theory is that socializing processes, such as vicarious
or direct reinforcement by others or modelled or guided help from more knowledge-
able others, act to reinforce appropriate behaviours that over time allow children to
monitor and control their own learning (McPherson & Zimmerman, 2002).
Children’s earliest experiences are regulated by their parents, who enforce rules of
behaviour for everyday tasks that provide the context for the acquisition of skills,
knowledge and attitudes that will eventually enable them to cope with more formal
aspects of learning after they start school (Corno, 1995; Goodnow & Warton, 1992;
Warton, 1997; Warton & Goodnow, 1991). The socializing role does not end when
formal schooling commences because parents very often continue to enforce behav-
iours that convey messages about their expectations and valuing of certain activities
over others. This type of parental feedback provides the context for children to acquire
an awareness of their own functioning in terms of the self-regulatory resources they
require to guide their own learning (Corno, 1995; Goodnow & Warton, 1992;
Warton, 1997; Warton & Goodnow, 1991)
Studies of child prodigies show that most had parents who systematically super-
vised their practice (Lehmann, 1997; Sosniak, 1985, 1987). They also became accus-
tomed to performing in front of their family and friends before giving their first recital.
Their parents’ and teachers’ interest in their development helped them to gradually
build the confidence, motivation and persistence that would eventually distinguish
them as performers (Sosniak, 1987). In these ways, the encouragement and support
the parents provided were important as the prodigies developed the personal
discipline necessary to persist with the many hours of practice needed to develop their
skills to an elite level. The parents not only applauded and rewarded their child’s
initial attempts to perform in front of others, but they also supported and encouraged
their children’s efforts when interest flagged or skills stalled (Sosniak, 1990).
Less than successful efforts were seen as a challenge to be overcome rather than as a
debilitating failure (Sosniak, 1990).
One might assume that the family background of prodigies is entirely different
from the normal population. However, studies with other populations of students
(Davidson, Sloboda, & Howe, 1995–96; Sloboda & Davidson, 1996) shows that, in
broad terms, high-achieving student musicians tend to have parents who actively
supported their child’s practice, especially during the initial stages of instruction. For
example, parents would either sit in on lessons and/or actively seek regular feedback
from their child’s teacher. These parents also supported their child’s practice by ver-
bal reminders to practise, encouragement, moral support and, in some cases, direct
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supervision. Their involvement was most evident in the early stages of development
when the children’s ability to self-regulate their own learning was least evident. As
the children’s developing self-motivation started to increase and they became increas-
ingly autonomous, the parents, many of whom did not have a musical background
themselves, started to withdraw their direct involvement as they continued to main-
tain a high level of moral support for their children’s increasing involvement with
music. In contrast, low-achieving student musicians tended to receive little parental
support during their early years, but during their teenage years, parental pressure to
motivate practice and attend lessons increased markedly. The researchers viewed this
as a last effort by the parents to keep their child learning (Davidson, Moore, Howe &
Sloboda, 1996; see also, Davidson & Burland, 2006; Davidson et al., 1995–96;
Davidson, Howe, & Sloboda, 1997; Sloboda & Davidson, 1996).
Zdzinski (1994, 1996) also reports on a study in which parental involvement was
significantly related to the students’ performance level and their affective and cogni-
tive musical outcomes. These effects were more evident at the elementary level than
for junior and senior high school students. This complements work by O’Neill (1997)
who studied six- to ten-year-old instrumentalists. She reports a significant relation-
ship between the parents’ involvement in lessons and children’s progress. More able
students tended to have parents who would seek information from the teacher about
progress and how they might assist the child.
According to O’Neill (1997), high-achieving students are not necessarily innately
talented or ‘clever’. Rather, they work harder and with more self-regulation than their
less accomplished peers (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). As the previous survey has demon-
strated, however, parental involvement helps to facilitate the self-regulatory processes
needed for children to eventually take charge of their own learning.
Obviously, parent–child interactions occur within a social-cultural context so the
processes mentioned above need defining in ways that capture these salient dimen-
sions (Pomerantz et al., 2005). In many different areas of learning, including music,
there has been much discussion on the tendency of Asian descendent children to
outperform their American Caucasian peers. To examine this relationship, a number
of studies have focused on the similarities and differences between the practices of
Asian and American parents. More recently, this body of research has been expanded
to examine how the same practices used by parents vary across cultures, based on
conceptions that children of different ethnic or cultural backgrounds view themselves
and their relationships with their parents in distinct ways. For example, Pomerantz et
al. (2005) speculate that Asian children tend to be more likely to take on their par-
ents’ goals and subsequently be more influenced by their parents’ views because they
do not always regard their parents’ opinions in the same way as European American
children. Whereas European American children might view their parents’ practice to
make a decision without consulting them as controlling or interfering, Asian children
may not because this action is congruent with their decision to take on their parents’
goals autonomously. As an example, Iyengar and Lepper (1999) found that European
American elementary children were more interested in their work if they had been
part of the process of choosing it for themselves. In contrast, Asian American children
McPherson: The role of parents in children’s musical development 13
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14 Psychology of Music
often preferred tasks that they were told that their mother chose for them. To follow
up on the results of this study, Bao and Lam (2008) studied a group of Chinese chil-
dren and found that they often experienced fulfilment of their need for relatedness in
situations where they had internalized the demands of significant others to whom
they felt a strong socio-emotional attachment. Even though these children did not
always make choices themselves, they nonetheless experienced autonomy because
they consented fully to, concurred with, or identified with their parent’s wishes.
In music, some evidence exists that individual and situational interest can work in
combination to enhance motivation. For example, Renwick and McPherson (2002)
report on a case study with a 12-year-old female clarinettist who was observed
practising repertoire she had chosen herself with a highly elevated level of attention,
persistence and strategy use in comparison with repertoire assigned by her teacher.
Moreover, decisions on when and for how long to practise (or even what instru-
ment to learn and how to become involved in music learning) are often negotiated
within the home environment. For this reason, social-cultural factors are an essen-
tial component of any understanding of the types of processes that lead to children’s
musical outcomes. These factors deserve more research attention across many areas
of education, and particularly music.
The creation of models to represent relationships and to test research assumptions is
at the core of scientific inquiry (Edwards, 1992). Models are a concise means of rep-
resenting relationships and ideas. They help focus research effort and provide a frame-
work upon which researchers may identify, explore and eventually confirm important
relationships among a wide range of human behaviours. Models therefore play an
important role in the development of theories.
Because the model provided here is selective rather than exhaustive, many addi-
tional parental and child variables probably also exist. Nonetheless, in this article, I
have chosen to describe the relationships that I feel hold the greatest potential for
understanding the complex issues surrounding parentchild interactions and
parental influences on children’s musical learning.
Within the proposed view, there are a number of issues that will need to be
resolved. Importantly, progress will depend on developing techniques that can reliably
distinguish between the different types of parent–child interactions that occur within
homes and that result in different kinds of emotional climates across time.
Researchers in our field would do well to keep an eye out for new methodologies that
are emerging to study family dynamics in other areas of psychology.
To improve our understanding of the principles embedded in the proposed frame-
work it will be important to clarify more precisely how mothers in comparison with
fathers support their child’s musical education, and whether there are any fundamen-
tal differences between how mothers versus fathers support a daughter as compared
to a son’s musical education. Evidence in education suggests that during adolescence,
daughters receive more parental involvement than sons, perhaps because they are
more obedient and cooperative (Carter & Wojtkiewicz, 2000). In sociology, however,
much debate centres on the validity of the Trivers and Willard (1973) hypothesis that
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proposes that throughout evolutionary history, low-ranking parents have tended to
invest more in their daughters than their sons while high-ranking parents have
tended to invest more in their sons than their daughters (Freese & Powell, 1999).
Clearly, within the proposed framework, the role of mothers as compared to fathers,
parental socioeconomic status, level of education (including musical education),
number of children in the family and the cultural norms parents follow deserve more
attention from music psychologists and music educators. Given that the model is
based on evidence in educational and developmental psychology, it will be especially
important for researchers to design studies that attempt to gather data on each com-
ponent of the model within both specific (e.g., learning repertoire for a concert) and
general (e.g., informal versus formal) musical contexts.
Research is also needed to more clearly understand the decisions parents make to
support their children and how they come to believe that their involvement will make
a difference. The home environment involves many types of pressures, such as eco-
nomic problems and stressful life events, in which parenting may suffer (Hoover-
Dempsey & Sandler, 1997). In the McPherson longitudinal study (McPherson, 2005;
McPherson & Davidson, 2006), seven of the nine learners whose parents separated at
some point in the study (drawn from a sample of 157 beginners) ceased instruction
very soon or immediately after one of the parents left the home. Of the two learners
who did continue, both relied on extraordinary amounts of encouragement and emo-
tional support from the remaining parent to sustain their involvement.
In conclusion, almost all the literature on parental influences on children’s learning
has focused on academic subjects, with very few studies on music learning. For this
reason, my review has summarized this literature in a way that would be valid for
music learning by drawing on the main trends and concepts that appear to be rele-
vant and interspersing ideas and findings from music-related research. In so doing,
I hope to have alerted readers to the complexity of the subject and to the benefits that
could be derived for children’s learning based on a more thorough understanding of
the critical role that parents play in children’s musical education.
My training and experience as a teacher inculcated within me a feeling that the
most important influence on a child’s development is the teacher. However, in recent
years, I have come to realize how limited this view is as I began to understand more
fully how the emotional climate within families profoundly influences children’s
musical education. Obviously, many contextual aspects affect children’s musical
development, but there is no reason to doubt, given the extensive research now avail-
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20 Psychology of Music
G A RY E . MCPHERSON, PhD, holds the Marilyn Pflederer Zimmerman Endowed Chair in Music
Education in the School of Music at the University of Urbana-Champaign, USA. He is a former
President of the Australian and International Societies for Music Education and has published
over 100 book chapters, journal articles and conference papers. One of his recent publications
is an edited volume for Oxford University Press (2006) entitled: The Child as Musician:
A Handbook of Musical Development.
Address: School of Music, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1114 W. Nevada Street,
Urbana, Illinois USA 61801. [email:]
96049.qxd 10/6/2008 5:10 PM Page 20
... Studies have shown that children's academic success (Hawes and Plourde, 2005;Pomerantz et al., 2005;Duan et al., 2018) is influenced by parental involvement, as they are children's first educators in life. In the field of music education, parents' roles are highly meaningful (McPherson, 2008;Steinberg et al., 2021). Previous research asserted that parental support and involvement produced positive effects (Huber, 2019;Yuan et al., 2021). ...
... Previous research asserted that parental support and involvement produced positive effects (Huber, 2019;Yuan et al., 2021). More intuitively, providing a musical environment, supervising activities at home and investing in children's musical learning and activities influence children's personality, identity, communication ability, musical competence, and accomplishments (Creech andHallam, 2003, 2011;McPherson, 2008;MacGlone et al., 2022). Due to these benefits, an increasing number of parents in both the United States (U.S.) and China are willing to send their children to music lessons, and diverse types of music learning patterns have appeared, one of which is taking private lessons. ...
... Before the main study was conducted, I ran a pilot study with an instrument that included 98 items. These items were generated from relevant literature (McPherson, 2008;Zdzinski, 2013;Dell et al., 2014Dell et al., -2015, personal experiences, conversations, and life stories that were shared by parents. In the process of writing these items, the researcher initially worded items in both English and Chinese. ...
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The purpose of this study was to establish a survey instrument to measure Chinese parents’ level of actions in their children’s private music classes. I adopted Fung’s framework of change and human actions as the theoretical support for a model of parents’ level of actions. Parents of 5- to 12-year-old children (N = 894) from 20 different provinces in China were surveyed on their level of involvement (i.e., proactivity, passivity, and avoidance) in their children’s private music education. Seven factors were extracted from the exploratory factor analysis, which were then consolidated into a 3-factor solution. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated an adequate model fit for the data collected from the Parents’ Level of Action in Private Music Learning Scale. The results from correlation analyses revealed that (1) children’s age had a direct but weak correlation with parents’ proactivity and (2) parents’ proactivity was positively associated with children’s intention to take music lessons. The results of the repeated-measures ANOVA indicated that most Chinese parents in this study were proactively involved in their children’s private music lessons. The findings from this study are consistent with the literature. Implications and recommendations are discussed, and suggestions for future research are included.
... Most of the learning is achieved by the student at home preparing the next music instrument lesson following the teacher's guidelines and advise. However, considering the young ages of the beginners and the fact that they do not have the planning, structuring and self-regulation capabilities of an adult, they rely on external support to scaffold their practicing milieu and schedule (Creech 2010;McPherson, 2009). In other words, both intrinsic (or self-determined, coming from within the own student) and extrinsic (or controlled, coming from outside, in other words, from a teacher or the parents) types of motivations are essential to engage in a behavior, as in our case, learning how to play a musical instrument. ...
... Parents' involvement with the learning process signals to the child the importance music can have in their lives and how parents are committed with the child' success (Küpers et al., 2014). It was observed that the expectations parents bring to the learning process impacts the quality of the student's development (McPherson, 2009). For instance, the study of different prodigies revealed a common feature in mothers that was present from the very first stage of the instrument tuition, who sat in individual lessons, listened to the child's home practice, took the child to public presentations or even took care of managerial decisions or adjusted the family routines around the needs of the young learner (McPherson & Lehmann, 2018). ...
Admission procedures to elementary school in Music Conservatoires in Portugal consist in the assessment of aural aptitude. This investigation aims at assessing the power of aural aptitude at predicting future musical achievement as well as the assessment of two other variables for the same purpose: motivation and intentions of parental support. For that matter, our sample includes the cohort of the admitted candidates and their parents to the 2019 to 2020 academic year. We used a longitudinal approach that followed the musical achievement of the sample during the 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021 academic years. Questionnaires were administered to both children and parents to collect information on motivation to learn a musical instrument and anticipation of parental support provision. Our results point that, after 2 years of music education, neither of the tested variables were able to predict the students’ musical achievement. These results suggest that the model of admission procedures to Music Conservatoires based on aural aptitude must be rethought and that this line of investigation could be revisited later when our sample enters middle school to assess again the predicting power of motivation and parental support.
... La primera activa comportamientos como la tendencia a disculparse, la confesión o intentar arreglar una situación; la segunda conduce a la persona a sentir que es defectuosa y potencia sentimientos como el de incapacitación, exposición o deseo de desaparecer. Todo esto es susceptible de influir negativamente en el rendimiento musical del niño, ya que favorece que su autoconcepto musical, junto con su autoestima -aspectos esenciales para un buen desempeño musical-queden mermados pudiendo, incluso, conducir al estudiante a abandonar los estudios musicales (Hallam, 2002;McPherson, 2009;Sichivitsa, 2007). Por lo tanto, y en base a los autores, los padres emergen como figura fundamental en la conformación del sentimiento de competencia y autonomía de sus hijos con respecto a la práctica musical. ...
... Uno de los aspectos a evitar sería generarse expectativas idealistas y ser demasiado críticos. En su lugar, sería conveniente adoptar estrategias que fomenten la autonomía de sus hijos, como por ejemplo invitarles a disfrutar de su interpretación, ayudarles en el estudio, mostrar interés por lo que estudian o apoyarles incluso cuando los resultados no sean los esperados, especialmente si el niño se ha estado esforzando (Hallam, 2002;McPherson, 2009). ...
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Parents’ expectations towards their children’s musical performance can exert a decisive influence on their performance. Given the importance of this issue, this study explores the interconnection between the performance of a student attended elementary piano lessons at a conservatory in Spain and her parents’ expectations regarding these studies. In addition, it is also intended to respond to the lack of literature that addresses this issue. To do this, the parents’ and student’s expectations were inquired through a semi-structured interview. Also, the teacher-researcher monitored the student throughout the entire school year within the framework of the piano subject in order to collect data related to the student’s musical performance through participant observation. The results suggest that parent’s expec- tations exert a significant influence on the child’s musical performance.
... The home environment is important in a child's early musical development, as it is in other areas of child development (McPherson, 2009). The musical environment at home includes the social environment at home and the material (equipment) necessary for dealing with music (Özmenteş, 2012). ...
... The social musical environment of the pupils in their homes includes their doing musical activities with their parents or other family members (Özmenteş, 2012). In the context of the social musical environment at home, musical activities are generally carried out by the child's parents, and parental support plays an important role in their children's musical development (McPherson, 2009) and their musical success (Barnes et al., 2016;O'Neill, 2002). From an early age, children develop flexible attitudes, beliefs and expectations about their potential to learn music. ...
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The purpose of this research was to reveal the relationships between the musical home environments of primary school pupils and their motivation for listening to music, singing and playing instruments. The participants in this correlational study were 266 primary school pupils enrolled in a state school in the southern part of Turkey. The data were collected through motivation scales for listening to music, singing and playing instruments, and a musical home environment questionnaire with a scale. According to the research findings, there is a significant relationship between parents’ interest in music and pupils’ motivation towards music. There are significant relationships between pupils’ activities related to listening to music and their motivation to listen to music, to sing and to play an instrument. Music interactions at home predict intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to listen to music and to sing. Parental musical support predicts intrinsic motivation to play an instrument. Keywords: home music environment; listening to music; motivation; playing instrument; singing.
... In another study, Dobos et al. (2019) discussed the relation between MPA and dimensions of perfectionism, arguing that parental criticism seemed to be a significant factor in predicting MPA. McPherson (2009) proposes that the parent-child interaction does play an important role with regard to a child's musical learning history, as parenting style influences a child's ability to cope with difficulties and its musical development overall. Wiedemann et al. (2020) explored the connection between MPA, parenting style, and adult attachment, reporting only a weak relationship between MPA and parenting style. ...
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Music performance anxiety (MPA) is described as a complex phenomenon that arises through an interplay of environmental and personal factors. While previous research has found links between early life experiences and personality traits, the causes and the development of MPA remain poorly understood. This study aimed to assess the role of parenting style and sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) to better understand the causes of MPA. In total, 342 musicians between 18 and 65 years old, active in diverse musical genres in Germany and Austria, were analyzed in the final sample. The abbreviated German version of the Kenny Music Performance Anxiety Inventory (K-MPAI-24) was used to measure MPA. Parenting style was assessed retrospectively using the German version of the Measure of Parenting Style (MOPS) entitled Fragebogen Dysfunktionaler Elterlicher Beziehungsstile (FDEB). To measure the temperamental trait SPS, the German version of the Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSPS-G) was used. Correlations were calculated to determine the relationships between parenting style and SPS in regard to MPA. Moreover, a moderation analysis was run to examine the interactive effect of parenting style and SPS on MPA. Although no interaction effect was found, the results indicate that abusive and over-controlling parenting as well as enhanced sensitivity may operate as risk factors for experiencing MPA. The present outcomes contribute to a better understanding of MPA and may facilitate supporting performers’ psychological well-being.
... Finalement, selon Michelle Marie Hospital et al. (2018), les élèves qui participent à ce type de programme démontreraient une amélioration significative pour les cinq dimensions du développement social du Positive Youth Development (Character, Competence, Compassion, Confidence, Connection ;Lerner et al. 2016) après un an de participation. L'importance de s'intéresser à L'infLuence parentaLe dans L'apprentissage musicaL Le rôle des parents dans la vie des jeunes musiciens est indéniablement important (McPherson 2009 ;McPherson et Davidson 2002). Ce sont souvent eux qui prennent l'initiative d'inscrire l'enfant à des cours de musique (Upitis et al. 2017) et la poursuite des cours est associée à l'attitude positive du parent vis-à-vis de l'expérience de l'enfant (Corrigall et Schellenberg 2015). ...
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L'objectif de cet article est de décrire le bien-être psychologique de 164 élèves de la 3 e à la 6 e année du primaire inscrits à un programme Arts-études en musique au Québec. Les résultats soulignent des différences significatives selon le genre et le niveau scolaire des participants. Entre autres, les filles rapportent plus de plaisir et de motivation que les garçons. Les élèves de 6 e année indiquent éprouver moins de plaisir, de satisfaction, de motivation, avoir une moins haute estime de soi et une perception plus négative du climat d'appartenance que ceux de 3 e et de 4 e année. L'origine de la participation au programme (suggestion des parents ou demande de l'enfant) serait un modérateur de ces effets. Il semble ainsi qu'une attention particu-lière doit être portée quant au bien-être en classe des garçons de 6 e année dont les parents suggèrent la participation à un tel programme. Mots clés : bien-être ; éducation musicale ; primaire ; projet pédagogique particulier ; santé mentale. Abstract This article aims to describe the psychological well-being of 164 elementary school students in grades 3 to 6 enrolled in an Arts-study program in music in Quebec. The results highlight significant differences according to gender and educational level of the participants. Among other things, girls reported more pleasure and motivation than boys. Grade 6 students, for their part, reported feeling less pleasure, satisfaction , and motivation, and having lower self-esteem and a more negative perception of belonging than those in grades 3 and 4. The origin of participation in the program (suggestion from the parents or request from the child) moderated these effects. Therefore , it seems that specific attention must be paid to the well-being of boys in grade 6 whose parents suggested they take part in such a program.
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DEDiCA. Revista de Educação e Humanidades. Editorial Universidad de Granada.
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Kutatások igazolják, hogy a társas környezet, a család erősen befolyásolják a motivációt, ezen keresztül pedig a tanulás sikerességét, az iskolai eredményességet. A családi háttér tanulásban betöltött szerepére számos területen rámutattak, a hangszertanulás esetében azonban még viszonylag kevés ilyen vizsgálat ismert. Nem tudunk olyan korábbi hazai kutatásról, ami a hangszeres zenetanulás és a családi háttér összefüggésére irányult volna. Ezért tanulmányunk fókuszába a szülőknek a gyermek hangszeres zenetanulásában betöltött szerepét helyeztük. A szülők hangszertanulásra gyakorolt hatását az öndeterminációs elmélet alapján értelmezzük. Vizsgálatunkban kérdőívet alkalmaztunk. Az adatfelvételt 9-19 éves hangszeren játszó tanulók körében végeztük (n=138), az átlagéletkor 14,33 év volt, a lányok aránya 59%. Eredményeink szerint a szülőknek fontos szerepe van a zenetanulás megkezdésében és folytatásában. Igazolást nyert, hogy a szülői hatásoknak fiatalabb életkorban nagyobb szerepe van, az életkor előrehaladtával a jelentőségük csökken. Az intrinzik motiváció szerepe ugyanakkor nem csökken a tanulók életkorának az előrehaladtával. Jelentős nemek közötti különbségeket találtunk. Vizsgálatunk alapján következtetések és javaslatok fogalmazhatók meg arra, hogy miként erősíthetik a szülők a hangszeres zene tanulása iránti motivációt a gyermekükben.
Parents play a variety of important roles in their children's musical development. However, whether they impact upon children's music performance education and experience has only begun to be considered. The current study sought to examine whether student perception of parent involvement in music and performance education is related to their experience of music performance anxiety. Sixty-two piano students aged 11 to 17 completed a questionnaire regarding their piano studies, their parents’ involvement in them, and their parents’ prior music education. They also completed measures of performance anxiety and self-esteem. Results indicated that parents’ prior music education was significantly associated with performance anxiety in their children. Participant age, self-esteem, and practice time were also significant variables. Measures of parent involvement in music studies and parent response to weak performances were not found to be significantly related to performance anxiety scores. Implications of these findings and directions for furthering this line of research are discussed.
When teaching children with disabilities, the home–school music connection can be the key to keeping our students engaged and motivated while increasing students’ self-regulation and positive interactions with peers. This article aims to shed light on classroom experiences with popular music of two third-grade students with sensory processing disorder and on how ‘music sharing turns’ influenced their overall engagement and ability to self-regulate in music classes. Music sharing turns, a weekly music ‘show and tell’, provided opportunities to bring popular music and activities they enjoy at home into the classroom. The results show that the participants were easily engaged and experienced greater self-regulation and awareness of others during music sharing turns. Music sharing turns also provided a predictable environment for peer interaction with opportunities to take on leadership roles within the classroom while remaining open-ended in a way participants could make their own.
This book is a handbook of musical development from conception to late adolescence. Within twenty-four chapters it celebrates the richness and diversity of the many different ways in which children can engage in and interact with music. Arranged in five sections, the first section examines the critical months and years from conception to the end of infancy. It looks at how the musical brain develops, ways of understanding musical development, and the nature of musicality. Section two scrutinizes claims about the non-musical benefit of exposure to music, for example that music makes you smarter. Section three focuses on those issues that help explain and identify individual differences. It includes chapters examining how children develop their motivation to study music, and two chapters on children with special needs. Section four covers skills that can develop as a result of exposure to music. The final section of the book discusses five different contexts and includes: a chapter on historical perspectives providing information for making comparisons between how children have learned and developed their musical capacities in the past, with current opportunities; two additional chapters that focus on children's involvement in music in non-Western cultures; and two final chapters focusing on youth musical engagement and the transition from child to adult.
Although transactional models of socialization have received support, there has been little investigation of the processes involved. The goal of this research was to move in this direction in the context of the socialization of achievement. Mothers and their elementary school children (N = 166) took part in an 18-month longitudinal study including a 2-week daily checklist. The results suggested that children's low achievement elicits intrusive support from mothers through 2 mechanisms. Mothers worried over their children's performance, and this was associated with heightened intrusive support. Children's low achievement manifested itself in uncertainty, which was linked to heightened intrusive support. The achievement of children whose mothers frequently used intrusive support improved over time but did not exceed that of children whose mothers infrequently used intrusive support. Day-to-day analyses suggested that although intrusive support promotes success, it also fosters failure for low-achieving children.
Examined in this study were social address variables (race, community, and children's sex and age), and parental beliefs (parents' confidence in their children's academic abilities, beliefs about their own ability to teach their children, beliefs about the nature of children's intelligence, and achievement-related childrearing values) in relation to parents' aspirations for their children's educational attainment. Based on a sample of 363 parents (42% African American and 58% European American) of elementary school-aged children, results of regression analyses indicated that each parental belief was a significant, independent predictor of parents' aspirations. The social address variables were related to parental aspirations indirectly, by way of significant relations to parental beliefs; community was the most consistent predictor of parental beliefs.
This study examined the accuracy with which parents can judge their children's cognitive abilities, as well as the relation between parental accuracy and the level of the child's performance. Subjects were 50 second- and fifth-grade children, their mothers, and fathers. Each child responded to five cognitive tasks, and each parent predicted both how his or her child would perform and how children in general would perform on each task. Parents proved moderately but far from perfectly accurate, the dominant error being to overestimate their own child's ability. Accuracy did not vary as a function of the age or sex of the child or the sex of the parent; it did vary across tasks, however, and was greater for children in general than for the parent's own child. As in past research, accuracy was positively related to the child's performance: More accurate parents tended to have more competent children. The Discussion considers various explanations for this finding.