Selected Abstracts, Conferences, Talks, and Papers
McPherson, G., & O’Neill, S.A. Students’ motivation to study music as compared to other school subjects: A comparison of eight countries. Research Studies in Music Education December 2010 32: 101-137, doi:10.1177/1321103X10384202
Abstract: Students’ motivation to study music as compared to other school subjects: A comparison of eight countries in Research Studies in Music Education
This study draws on an expectancy-value theoretical framework to examine the motivation (competence beliefs, values and task difficulty) of 24,143 students (11,909 females and 10,066 males, aged 9 to 21 years) from eight countries (Brazil n = 1848; China n = 3049; Finland n = 1654; Hong Kong n = 6179; Israel n = 2257; Korea n = 2671; Mexico n = 3613; USA n = 3072). Music was studied in comparison to five other school subjects (art, mother tongue, physical education, mathematics, science) across three school grade levels that included the key transition from elementary to secondary school. Results indicated that music as a school subject was valued less and received lower task difficulty ratings than other school subjects with the exception of art. Students reported higher competence beliefs for physical education and mother tongue compared to music and lower competence beliefs for mathematics and art. There was an overall decline in students’ competence beliefs and values across the school grade levels for all countries except Brazil. Females reported higher competence beliefs and values and lower task difficulty ratings for music, art and mother tongue than males. Males reported higher competence beliefs and lower task difficulty ratings for physical education and mathematics. There were no gender differences for values in mathematics. Music learners reported higher competence beliefs and values and lower task difficulty across school subjects than non-music learners. Secondary analyses were used to further explore differences within each of the eight countries. Findings suggest that once students have experienced learning to play an instrument or voice, they become more motivated towards other school subjects. Implications of the findings suggest that advocacy aimed at increasing the values that students attach to music as a school subject may encourage more students to become music learners across a wide range of countries.
O’Neill, S. A., & Peluso, D. Media convergence culture: Exploring young people’s musical worlds. Proceedings of the Media Literacy Conference (p. 50), London, UK, November 2010.
Social networking and media sharing has altered young people’s involvement in music. Compared with a decade ago, youth today experience and engage with music in much the same way as they experience and engage with creative and innovative technologies. An inherent complexity in young people’s musical interactions emerges from the fluid, changeable, and multifaceted nature of media engagement. Integrated from the very start, young people’s interaction with media involves a combination of old and new technologies, or media convergence culture. An in-depth exploration of young people’s musical worlds is a necessary precursor to the development of effective curriculum and pedagogy aimed at increasing media literacy in and through participatory culture. Our study involves an examination of these components and their convergence or intersectionality. Our analysis focuses on the use of technology, media, and social networking in young people’s descriptions of their music engagement. We conducted over 100 individual interviews with 10-18 year olds from elementary, middle and secondary schools across Canada. We asked participants to describe their current involvement in formal and informal musical activities that occur in and out of school contexts. Using a meaning systems analytical approach, we identified key components that overlap and create an intricate web of interaction involving the self, social, and physical environment. These interconnected components provide important insights into young people’s learning progression in media, technology and music education. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for identifying and developing media literacy and fostering transformative learning opportunities.
Saturday, 20th November, 2010, 13.15 – 14.30, Mountbatten, 6th Floor theme: Convergence Culture
Senyshyn, Y., & O’Neill, S. A. Media literacy and music: Enhancing existential educational experiences. Proceedings of the Media Literacy Conference (p. 53), London, UK, November 2010.
Existential educational experiences promote learning opportunities that are capable of developing subjectivity and an authentic understanding of freedom and choice. It is an educational approach that is responsive to the uncertainty and alienation that often exists in our fast changing, technology-driven world. It focuses on how an individual learner relates to the meanings that are inherent in different media. This paper explores media literacy and music as a way of engaging teacher and learner in interactions based on particular aesthetic experiences that respect the freedoms of both parties in a non-exploitative manner. Such an existential approach to media education and literacy seeks to: (1) create an awareness of the institutions, forces, and trends that can lead to media as a form of manipulation that is emancipatory for some but capable of limiting the freedom of others, (2) cultivate an awareness of personal choice and social responsibility where one is capable of understanding media as a form of principled pluralism, and (3) develop an understanding of meaning-making that is situated in the ‘between’, rather than with one point of view or the other. Drawing on several illustrative examples from youth culture, we explore a theoretical framework that involves media literacy and music as a way of developing young people’s subjectivity through aesthetic understandings of the relational, culturally embedded, alienated, and meaning-making aspects of media and culture. We will also discuss how educators might usefully employ this framework as a critical ‘lens’ through which to examine their existing media literacy curriculum practices.
Friday, 19th November, 2010, 13.30 – 14.45, Mountbatten, 6th Floor theme: Media Education across the Curriculum
2010 – 2011 Invited Talks
O’Neill, S. A. Promoting positive youth engagement in music, University of Laval, Quebec, Canada. (March 2011)
O’Neill, S. A. Initiators and sustainers of youth engagement in music: An interview study. Symposium on motivation: measuring and understanding motivation and music learning. (Symposium Convenor: S. A. O’Neill). International Conference on Multidisciplinary Research in Music Pedagogy, University of Ottawa, Canada, May 2010.
Motivation is an integral part of what initiates and sustains meaningful engagement in music. Not all youth are engaged in music activities to the same extent or in the same way. Some may show an interest in an activity by simply being involved. Others may take a leadership role by bringing others to the activity or by helping to organize or advocate on behalf of the activity. An engaged youth thinks the activity is an important one, is well-informed about the activity, and has a sense of purpose or derives important meaning and fulfillment from involvement in the activity. This study involved individual interviews with 90 young people in grades 7 to 10. This study examines the question of what makes different forms of music engagement meaningful for different youth in different contexts. The results provide a framework for understanding what gets youth involved in different music activities in the first place (initiators), and what helps to keep them involved (sustainors).
O’Neill, S. A. Exchanging “insider” knowledge through youth participatory research. Symposium on musical values: recasting knowledge exchange and equity in music pedagogy. (Symposium Convenor: S. A. O’Neill). International Conference on Multidisciplinary Research in Music Pedagogy, University of Ottawa, Canada, May 2010.
Abstract: Exchanging “Insider” Knowledge Through Youth Participatory Research in Music
There is evidence that the involvement of youth as collaborators in the process of research itself contributes to the value and relevance of the information gathered. In addition, the involvement of youth as researchers can provide opportunities for positive engagement, leadership, increased advocacy, and learning opportunities. The youth, working within their own peer culture, have a perspective about which researchers can only speculate. Young people’s “insider” knowledge also contributes to the knowledge of adults involved in pedagogical planning and policy for youth music programs. However, teachers often find it difficult to tap into this knowledge and/or incorporate it into their pedagogical practices. This exploratory study involves youth as participants in their own research on the topic of youth engagement in music. This paper explores how we can use research to build and sustain a culture of knowers in music education that integrates research, practice, and engagement issues. The implications of knowledge equity and the perceived power differential between youth, adult researchers, and teachers is also discussed.
Senyshyn, Y. Creative co-authorship and autonomous youth engagement in music. Symposium on musical values: recasting knowledge exchange and equity in music pedagogy. (Symposium Convenor: S. A. O’Neill). International Conference on Multidisciplinary Research in Music Pedagogy, University of Ottawa, Canada, May 2010.
Abstract: Creative Co-Authorship and Autonomous Youth Engagement in Music
Although there is a qualitative difference between learner and teacher, this educational differentiation, does not give the latter the hierarchical authority to abuse the ethical relationship that particularly exists between two participants in an equitable transfer and exchange of aesthetic learning. The ethico-aesthetic relationship is put into jeopardy when a piano teacher, for example, consciously or unconsciously refuses to maintain an equitable balance in the learning environment by pursuing a strategy that adulates the musical score as an absolute icon of worship. In this negative situation, the teacher acts as an authoritarian keeper of the musical score and its possible interpretative potential and, in doing so, disallows the student from progressing beyond the score as more than just a close-ended blueprint. This position usurps students’ creativity and prevents an autonomous impact on and engagement with talented youth that should occur in an equitable and ethical teaching relationship between student and teacher.