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Commitment and practice: Key ingredients for achievement during the early stages of learning a musical instrument

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... Previous research has shown that progress in learning to play a musical instrument in childhood is subject to a range of both extrinsic, e.g., parental support [1], and intrinsic influences, e.g., value beliefs [2], and self-regulation strategies [3]. This means that the failure or success of long-term music learning dependents on complex patterns of available resources and motivations [4][5][6][7]. ...
... Thus, positive emotions on the one hand, as well as negative emotions on the other hand seem to play an important role in the process of learning a musical instrument. Further evidence for the role of emotional needs and motivational aspects in music learning activities were reported in several studies by McPherson and Colleagues [2,3,27]. It was suggested, that motivational aspects were powerful predictors in children's expectations of how long they thought, that they would learn their instrument. ...
... It was suggested, that motivational aspects were powerful predictors in children's expectations of how long they thought, that they would learn their instrument. For example, McPherson [2] examined 133 primary school children between 7 to 9 years of age, who just started to learn a musical instrument. Results from interviews showed that the commitment to learn an instrument and the amount of practice was a good predictor for their instrumental performance after nine months of learning. ...
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Learning to play a musical instrument is associated with different, partially conflicting emotions. This paper describes the development and psychometric properties of the Emotions while Learning an Instrument Scale (ELIS). In a longitudinal study with 545 German elementary school children factorial structure and psychometric properties were evaluated. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses confirmed a two-factor solution measuring Positive musical Emotions while Learning an Instrument (PELI) and Negative Emotions while Learning an Instrument (NELI). Both subscales yielded scores with adequate internal reliability (Cronbach’s α = .74, .86) and relatively stable retest reliabilities over 18 months ( r = .11 -.56). Preliminary evidence of congruent and divergent validity of the subscales is provided. Implications for future research of musical emotional experiences in children are discussed.
... Kemp (1996) stated that the most talented musicians were driven by a form of motivation bordering on obsession. Other studies have shown that the highest-achieving students exhibit long-term engagement in playing their instruments and practise a great deal (McPherson & McCormick;2000;Sloboda et al., 1996). As such, musicians' high perseverance of effort should be indicative of their higher chance of achieving academic and professional success, as well as higher levels of well-being, due to their being more suited to face the challenges inherent in the profession. ...
... The results of the present study are congruent with findings in the wider research and educational context (see Macnamara et al., 2014;Manturzewska, 1974;McPherson, 2000;Lehmann et al., 2007;Stumpf, 1890), which show that the path to musical achievement involves intensive, goal-oriented work, training, and practice. Young musicians face requirements and expectations such that they are encouraged to commit themselves to engagement in education for musical excellence, demonstrating extreme perseverance of effort. ...
... Other studies have shown similar differences in the relationships between these indicators and those of study and other forms of behavioural addiction in young people (Atroszko, Andreassen et al., 2015;Atroszko et al., 2018;Uzarska et al., 2021). Music academy students are already heavily committed to reaching goals related to their future lives as professional musicians (Ericsson et al., 1993;McPherson, 2000) leading, for many of them, to additional worries and less time for sleep or anxiety-driven sleep disturbance (Nedelcut et al., 2018;Vaag et al., 2015). The results of the research cited above suggest that while many music academy students experience high levels of stress associated with sleep problems, it is only in some extreme cases, related to study addiction, that they have noticeable consequences for general health and quality of life. ...
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Grit, defined as perseverance and passion for long-term goals, is investigated as a predictor of academic success and well-being. This trait may have special importance for musicians’ functioning as their lives revolve around practice routines and mastering their craft for years. However, there is a growing recognition that extreme perseverance may be maladaptive in some cases. Persistent overinvolvement in goal-oriented activities is related to compulsive overworking, conceptualized within the behavioral addiction framework as work and study addiction. A previous study showed that study addiction is relatively highly prevalent among young musicians and has a clearly negative effect on their functioning. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between grit, study addiction, and psychosocial functioning among music academy students. It was hypothesized that perseverance of effort is related to well-being, grade point average (GPA), and study addiction, and that it becomes maladaptive for individuals addicted to studying. A cross-sectional correlational study was conducted among 213 music academy students in Poland. Perseverance of effort was positively related to GPA and study addiction. The relationships between perseverance of effort and self-rated general health, and between perseverance of effort and quality of life, were moderated by study addiction. The results suggest that grit may become maladaptive perseverance in the cases of individuals at risk of study addiction. Based on these findings, further investigations of grit among musicians, as well as further studies of the negative aspects of grit in general, are warranted. Implications for prevention and intervention programs are discussed.
... The concept of commitment originated from sociology (e.g., Abramson et al., 1958;Becker, 1960) and social psychology (e.g., Brehm & Cohen, 1959;Kiesler, 1971;Kiesler & Sakumura, 1966). It eventually gained interest in various contexts, such as organisational psychology (e.g., Joo & Lim, 2009;Mowday et al., 1982;Salzmann et al., 2018), education and learning (e.g., Human-Vogel & Rabe, 2015;Nguyen et al., 2016), sports (e.g., Pulido et al., 2018;Scanlan et al., 1990;Scanlan et al., 1993;Schmidt & Stein, 1991), and music (e.g., Asmus & Harrison, 1990;McPherson, 2001;Schmidt, 2005). In this section, literature on commitment in music contexts is presented in two categories: commitment to engage in music and commitment to band. ...
... Similarly, McPherson's (2001) study found that children who had long-term commitment to play their instruments were also those who achieved the highest scores on a series of performance tasks nine months later. ...
... A tanulók motivációját kezdetben meghatározhatja a szülő, valamint a tevékenység újszerűsége. A kezdeti izgalom, lelkesedés elmúlása után sok gyermek elveszíti a kedvét, hiszen a hangszertanulás sok időt és erőfeszítést igényel (McPherson, 2000). Egyes tanulók megtartják a nagymértékű autonóm motivációt, ugyanakkor sokan feladják a motiváció hiánya miatt (Renwick & McPherson, 2009;Comeau et al., 2019). ...
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A tanulmányban a hangszeres zenét tanuló diákok motivációját elemezzük. A hazai motivációkutatások eddig még alig vizsgálták a hangszeres zenetanulás motivációs hátterét, ezért fókuszálunk erre a területre. Kutatásunk a Motivation for Learning Music (MLM, hangszertanulási motiváció) kérdőívet alkalmaztuk, melyet magyar nyelvre adaptáltunk. A vizsgálati eszközt az öndeterminációs elmélet alapján dolgozták ki. Összesen 25 Likert-típusú állítást tartalmaz, melyek a következő faktorokba rendeződnek: motiválatlanság, külső szabályozás, introjekció, azonosulás és intrinzik motiváció. A vizsgálatban 10–18 éves tanulók vettek részt, összesen 151 fő. A mérőeszköz faktoriális validitása és az öt skála reliabilitása megfelelő. Elemzéseink rámutatnak, hogy a középfokon tanuló diákok motiváltsága erősebb, mint az alapfokon tanulóké. Eltérés van a különböző hangszereken tanulók elköteleződésében. Nincs azonban különbség a fiúk és a lányok motiváltságában. A hangszertanulás iránti motiváltságban szerepet játszik a gyermek önállóságának, autonómiájának támogatása. A kutatás eredményei hozzájárulhatnak, hogy mélyebben megismerjük a zenét tanuló diákok motivációját.
... Likewise, parental support is especially important in the early stages of music learning, a period when young students often do not possess a high degree of autonomy so need considerable positive reinforcement and support with their learning (McPherson, 2000(McPherson, , 2009McPherson & Davidson, 2002;. During the beginning stages of learning a musical instrument, students create beliefs, perceptions, and expectations about their music learning that are influenced not only by their teachers, but also by the kinds of interactions they have with their families and especially with their parents (McPherson, 2009). ...
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The quality of parental support is recognized as a crucial factor in the early stages of a student’s development, and particularly in instrumental music education. At the start of 2020, the outbreak of a global pandemic crisis posed new and unprecedented challenges to education, forcing families to stay at home to prevent contagion. This investigation was conducted during the period of a COVID pandemic lockdown in Portugal. We explored whether parental support, provided during the lockdown period, was associated with their child’s achievement as reported by their instrumental music teacher. For this study, 39 parent–teacher dyads of first-grade students of an instrument music course were recruited from two public music conservatories. Parents supplied information on the frequency in which they provided student-support-related attitudes and actions in the home context. Simultaneously, teachers provided information about the student’s achievement during the lockdown compared with the previous in-person performance period. Results indicate a strong relationship between parental support and musical achievement, with students who received higher levels of supportive parental involvement performing better than before the pandemic crisis. The findings are discussed in relation to the importance of parental involvement in a child’s instrumental music education.
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A zenetanulási motiváció vizsgálata a nemzetközi szakirodalomban elterjedt kutatási terület, számos motivációs elmélet alapján értelmezik a zene és a motiváció közötti összefüggéseket, hazai vizsgálat azonban kevés van ebben a témában. A tanulmány célja az öndeterminációs elméleten alapuló Hangszertanulási motiváció (Motivation for Music Learning, MLM) kérdőív adaptációjának bemutatása. A nemzetközi kutatásokkal ellentétben hazánkban főként az iskolai ének-zene órákra fókuszálnak, ezáltal kevésbé ismert a hangszertanulás és a motiváció kapcsolata. A Comeau, Huta, Lu és Swirp (2019) által fejlesztett kérdőív magyar változatát 151 tanuló (életkor: átlag 14,7 év, SD = 2,49) töltötte ki a Google Form felületén. A diákoknak ötfokú Likert-skálán kellett értelmezni az állításokat, a kérdőív 25 tételt tartalmazott, amelyek a motiválatlanság, külső szabályozás, introjekció, azonosulás és az intrinzik motiváció faktoraihoz tartoztak. A tanulmányban a kérdőív pszichometriai jellemzőit (faktoriális validitás és reliabilitás), valamint a faktorok összefüggéseit elemezzük, továbbá összehasonlítjuk a fiatalabb és az idősebb életkori csoport hangszertanulási motivációját. A megerősítő faktoranalízis mutatói alapján az adataink jól illeszkednek az elméleti modellhez. A Cronbach-α reliabilitás minden faktor esetén legalább 0,8. A faktorok közötti összefüggések az elméleti modell alapján várt eredményekkel egyeznek. A 10–14 éves és a 15–18 éves tanulók között három motivációs típusban találtunk szignifikáns eltérést, az idősebb korosztályban jellemzőbb az introjekció, az azonosulás és az intrinzik motiváció. Az adaptáció során egy új magyar mérőeszköz jött létre, segítségével megismerhető a hangszeren tanuló gyermekek motivációja. A mérőeszköz lehetővé teszi a nemzetközi összehasonlító vizsgálatok megvalósítását.
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The aim of this study is to map the value orientation and the occurrence of extremist attitudes in the sample of students in study programme “teaching in primary education”. It was found that students orientated most on the value types of universalism and benevolence, which in Schwartz's circular model of values constitute the pole of self-transcendence, and the least on the value types of power and success, which constitute the pole of self-enhancement. Another finding is that no increased occurrence of extremist attitudes was found in the research sample as a whole. Among the observed factors of inclination to extremism, students achieved the highest scores in the factor “anti-establishment attitudes”, and the lowest scores in the factor “prejudice and welfare chauvinism”. When comparing the value orientation of students with the highest and lowest occurrence of extremist attitudes, the results show that students with the highest occurrence of extremist attitudes are statistically significantly more oriented to the value types of power, security and stimulation. On the contrary, statistically significantly less students with a greater inclination to extremism orientated on the value types of universalism, benevolence and achievement.
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A growing concern is the low number of learners who choose to participate in music during their high school years. Extending previous research by McPherson and O’Neill, this study explored South African high school learners’ motivation and value perceptions to continue with music as an elective in grade 10. A further objective was to understand how value perceptions vary according to grade, gender, and intention to continue with music. 180 music leaners in grades 9 and 10 completed questionnaires modeled on those by McPherson and O’Neill, based on the expectancy-value framework. Results show that learners value music less than physical sciences and life sciences/biology, but more than history, geography, and accounting/EMS. Overall, outcomes show that learners who select music exhibit higher (and more intrinsic) value perceptions for music than for other electives and hold a higher value perception for all electives combined. Males hold higher value perceptions for music than females.
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In this article, we systematically reviewed the research literature dealing with expectancy-value motivation theory within music contexts. Employing the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) approach, a total of 1,120 records were retrieved and examined, with 110 eventually included in the analyses. Frequencies/percentages were generated for research output in 5-year time periods, type of publication, sampling locations, and methodologies. Summaries of all 110 records were provided; content analyses on topics covered were also conducted. Findings indicated a clear increase in research interest over the past 15 years with quantitative methodologies being twice as prevalent as qualitative approaches. While the vast majority (97.7%) of quantitative research employed self-report questionnaires, the most common form of qualitative data collection was interviews (59.1%). Salient topics covered included students’ expectancy-value beliefs across music and other school subjects, continued music participation, intentions to pursue a career in music, and parental influences.
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