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Publication Detail
The music classroom :pupils' experience and engagement during adolescence
Abstract
Music, as part of the National Curriculum, is a compulsory subject of study for all pupils until the age of 14. Listening to music is an important part of adolescent leisure time, music can be a powerful identifier of youth culture and yet, few pupils associate their commitment to, or enjoyment of music, with the classroom context. 93% of pupils opt out of classroom music as soon as they are given the choice (Bray 2000). The question remains 'why?' Case studies in three secondary schools were carried out with a total sample of 249 Year 9 pupils. Pupils described their experiences of Key Stage 3 classroom music during interviews. Pupils completed questionnaires in which they described their own musical ability and the skills required to achieve in GCSE Music. Patterns in pupil responses across the population were identified and used to describe seven types of musical engagement. The tendency for a pupil to engage with Key Stage 3 Music was linked to (i) the pupil- teacher relationship, (ii) perceived task-based competency, (iii) perception of risk, (iv) peer support, (v) the dominant school-based genre. As a result of these findings a model of adolescent musical identity in school and other contexts was proposed that related the inter-personal perspective of the pupil's experience (Musics available to me) to an intra-personal perspective in which the individual forms a personal relationship with specific musical encounters (Me, and My music). It is proposed, that for many pupils, it is the 'goodness of fit' between the classroom experiences and 'Me and My music' that will determine the pupils' decisions to engage with the Key Stage 3 music classroom.
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