Motivating the musically disaffected

Kellett, Mary (2000). Motivating the musically disaffected. In: Upton, Graham and Clipson-Boyles, Suzi eds. Putting Research into Practice in Primary Teaching and Learning. David Fulton, pp. 141–153.


This chapter discusses a research project exploring musical listening skills with a class of 6-9-year-olds, spanning Key Stages 1 and 2. Completely new activities were designed so that the disaffected and less musical would not feel disadvantaged. The 'expert status' of all children was constantly reinforced. A non-threatening environment was created by the reassurance that there were no right or wrong answers, and non-verbal stimuli were used to scaffold responses. The results showed that listening skills developed significantly and musical self-esteem was raised. The greatest measurable progress was made by the less able and those with low self-seteem. Implications for teaching and issues of balance between the three components of the music curriculum are also discussed.

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