Motivation an overview of theories examined in the context of music education
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Motivation: An overview of theories examined in the context of music education…. Psychology of Music Learning Dr. Miksza. VERY brief background…. Hull Organismic/intervening variables Drive theory Internal state of need - trying to reach homeostastis Heron Arousal theory

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Motivation an overview of theories examined in the context of music education

Motivation: An overview of theories examined in the context of music education…

Psychology of Music Learning

Dr. Miksza

Very brief background

VERY brief background…

  • Hull

    • Organismic/intervening variables

    • Drive theory

      • Internal state of need - trying to reach homeostastis

  • Heron

    • Arousal theory

    • Individual’s need for stimulation, risks, and sensations

    • Arousal can be defined as “the level of internal energy an organism is currently experiencing (Ormrod)”

    • Deterioration of cognitive ability and a general inability to function as deprivation grew

    • Concluded that people have a basic need for sensation

  • Lewin

    • Field theory

    • Lifespace, needs, social influences

Definitions and relevance

Definitions and relevance…

  • Motivation provides energy for seeking out and being involved in tasks

    • Arouse interest

    • Influence choice, direction, goals

    • Starting, sustaining, and/or stopping behavior

  • 11% to 17% of variance in achievement explained by motivation

    • Important because it can be manipulated by the teacher

Extrinsic sources tends to be behavioral

Extrinsic sources (tends to be behavioral)

  • Reinforcement

  • Environment

  • Social sources

    • Approval, disapproval, tokens, rewards, etc.

  • Disadvantages

    • Unlikely to choose similar activities without extrinsic rewards

    • Don’t pursue activities outside of class

    • Inhibit the development of intrinsic orientation

    • May lead to negative performance outcomes in the long-term

Intrinsic sources tends to be cognitive

Intrinsic Sources (tends to be cognitive)

  • Internal decisions and energy

  • Engaged in ‘for their own sake’

  • Advantageous

    • Persist even when external sources aren’t available

    • Higher self-concept

    • See Weiner (1986) quote - anti-behaviorist approach

    • Contrast Weiner with Deci & Ryan (1985) - using extrinsic to ‘stoke’ intrinsic

Maximizing extrinsic motivation

Maximizing extrinsic motivation…

  • Only use rewards when necessary

  • Don’t reward a learner for an inherently interesting task

  • Limit use of rewards for behavioral control and participation

  • Avoid rewards with divergent tasks

  • Use rewards for acknowledging competence

  • Use rewards for memorization and convergent tasks

Contemporary intrinsic extrinsic approaches goal orientations

Contemporary intrinsic/extrinsic approaches…Goal orientations…

  • Elliot - Achievement goal orientations

    • Performance goals (aka - ego)

      • Norm-referenced achievement orientations

      • E.g., doing well in comparison to others, trying not to look bad, competing

    • Mastery goals (aka - task)

      • Self-referential achievement orientations

      • E.g., to satisfy interest, to make personal improvement

Contemporary intrinsic extrinsic approaches goal orientations1

Contemporary intrinsic/extrinsic approaches…Goal orientations…

  • Approach and Avoid ‘valence’

  • Highest achievers tend to have strong mastery- AND performance-approach orientations

  • Learner traits…

    • Approach - help-seeking, organized

    • Avoid - disorganized, anxiety, avoidance, avoid help-seeking

Goal orientations in music

Goal orientations in music…

  • Given findings in general ed - seems to be an important avenue to go down…

  • Just beginning… …both mastery/approach and task/ego terminology used…

  • Given findings in general ed.

  • Miksza (2008) - some evidence for the 2 X 2 model…

  • Smith (2002) and Schmidt (2005) - high correlations among sub-scales

Self concept self esteem


  • Achievement and success enhance self-concept

  • Failure may also have constructive effects on self-concept if:

    • The goals, conditions, assessment, and attributions are appropriate

    • Especially if the learner is intrinsically motivated to pursue the task in the first place

  • More control over the task the learner has the stronger effect on self-concept

Vispoel 1994

Vispoel (1994)

  • Self-concept has been poorly defined over time - especially in music

  • Self-concept is:

    • Organized, multi-faceted, hierarchical, stable, complexity changes with age, descriptive and evaluative, distinct from other constructs like achievement and intelligence

  • Music self-concept correlated with general artistic self-concept and verbal-academic self-concept

  • Music self-concept is also hierarchically structured

  • Music self-concept may differentiate by instrumental vs. non-instrumental

Self concept in music

Self-concept in music…

  • Positive self-concept related to achievement in music

  • Music participation related to positive general self-concept

    • Results mixed for minority and disadvantaged students

  • Pre-service practice teaching experiences lead to enhanced teacher self-concept

  • Self-concept increased as result of participation in contest

  • Consistent correlation between music self-concept and magnitude of motivation

Self concept in music1

Self-concept in music…

  • Austin and Vispoel (1991)

    • Self-concept related to music achievement as measured by Colwell’s MAT

  • Klinedinst (1991)

    • No relation between self-concept, using the Svengalis self-concept measure, and teacher ratings of music students

  • Sandene’s (1997)

    • Study also included self-concept using an adaptation of Schmitt’s Self-Esteem in Instrumental Music Scale (1979)

    • Significant decrease in self-esteem means from 5th to 8th grade

    • Drop outs were found to be lower on self-esteem than students who continued in band

  • Schmidt (2005)

    • No significant differences by grade level or gender on music self-concept when surveying high school band students

More foundational theories

More foundational theories…

  • Maslow - Drive Theory

    • Meet needs… see hierarchy from last week…

  • Atkinson and McClelland - Achievement Theory

    • Approach success

      • Interaction of previous successes, motive to achieve, expectancy of success, and perceived value of success

      • Optimal level: perceived difficulty and expectancy of success is intermediate

    • Avoid failure

      • Ring toss experiment… (Atkinson & Litwin)

      • Protect self-perception - choose task that’s too easy or too difficult to explain away failures…

Perceptions of success and failure

Perceptions of success and failure…

  • Rotter - Locus of Control

    • Internal and external reasons for future successes and failures

      • Internal: ability, effort

      • External: luck, powerful others

  • Weiner - Attribution Theory

    • Perceived causes of past successes and failures

      • Internal/External, Stable/Unstable, Controllable/Uncontrollable

Locus of control in music

Locus of Control in music…

  • Sandene (1987)

    • Middle school band drop outs are likely to be more external than those who continue

  • Madsen and Goins (2002)

    • Music majors more internal than the general population

    • Music ed majors more internal than music therapy and performance

  • Kornicke (1992)

    • Piano performance majors achievement related to external locus of control

    • ‘Defensive externals’ - optimal level of anxiety

  • Miksza (2005)

    • Trend of correlations between performance achievement and internal LOC

Attribution theory in music

Attribution theory in music…

  • Effort and ability most commonly cited by younger students

  • Attributions tend to become more stable with age

  • Task difficulty more commonly cited by older students

  • Attributions somewhat distinct from magnitude of motivation

  • Those with high magnitude tend to cite effort more often

  • Ability attributions positively related to successes but negatively related to failure

  • Asmus motivational factors

    • Effort

    • Background

    • Classroom environment

    • Musical ability

    • Affect for music

Attribution theory in music1

Attribution theory in music…

  • Asmus (1986)

    • 6th graders attributions of success and failure in music were mostly internal

    • Stability of these attributions fluctuated greatly between effort and ability

  • Austin (1988)

    • Predominance of internal attributions in public school students

    • Effort attributions in particular

  • Schmidt (1995)

    • Public school choral students mostly internal, unstable attributions of effort

  • Austin and Vispoel (1991)

    • Attributions of success and failure regarding related to cognitive music achievement scores

    • Ability attributions for success were positively related to achievement scores

    • Ability attributions for failure were negatively related to achievement scores

    • Students believed that ability was related to success regarding achievement but not failure

Attribution theory in music2

Attribution theory in music…

  • Vispoel and Austin (1995)

    • Differences between attributions for success and attributions for failure

    • Effort in particular in general music

    • Ability attributions for success and failure were significantly related to achievement in all areas

  • Asmus and Harrison (1990)

    • AMF with college non-music majors showed two factors rather than five

    • (Internal) - Ability, effort, background and affect attributions made up one factor while (external) - environment stood alone on the other

  • Legette (1998)

    • Public school students AMF

    • Internal attributions were found to be more prominent

    • Females scored higher on all five sub-scales than males

    • Urban students reported more effort and ability attribution

    • Rural students reported higher environment attributions

  • Sandene (1997)

    • AMF and Asmus’ Magnitude of Motivation Scale (MMS)

    • This study showed a still different underlying structure of the AMF

    • A comparison across grade levels showed significant decreases in all AMF sub-scales as grade level increased All AMF sub-scales highly related suggesting one global factor with this population rather than 2 or 5 as in earlier studies

    • AMF and MMS related

    • AMF related to task goals but not ego goals

More theories

More theories…

  • Bandura - Self-efficacy

    • ‘a person’s beliefs in ability to produce intended outcomes on a specific task’

      • Effect: choice of activity, effort, persistence

  • Deci & Ryan - Self-determination

    • Sense of control enhances intrinsic motivation

    • Satisfying an inherent need to be competent and self-determining

Self efficacy in music

Self-efficacy in music…

  • McPherson & McCormick (2002)

    • Model of self-efficacy and other related variables showed that self-efficacy was best predictor of performance achievement

  • Madura (1996)

    • Self-efficacy best predictor of improvisation skill

  • Bergee (2006)

    • Music teacher classroom management efficacy…

Common motivational topics in practical music education literature

Common motivational topics in practical music education literature

  • Nature of musical materials

  • Music as a reinforcer

  • Classroom environment

  • Competition

  • Teaching strategies

  • Teacher characteristics

Mcpherson zimmerman 2002

McPherson & Zimmerman (2002)

  • Self-regulation

    • From a social-cognitive perspective…

      • Interaction of individual, environment, and behavior (reciprocal causation/determinism)

    • Dimensions

      • Motive - why

      • Strategies - how

      • Time management - when

      • Performance behavior - what

      • Social elements, help - with whom

Mcpherson zimmerman 20021

McPherson & Zimmerman (2002)

  • Motivation

    • Parental support, self-motivation

  • Strategies

    • Task-oriented, alone vs. with help of a teacher, mental strategies

  • Time management

    • Efficiency, avoidance, use of time

  • Behavior

    • Metacognition, problem solving, self-evaluation, adaptive mastery-oriented or maladaptive performance-oriented, physical environment

  • Social elements

    • Parents, teachers, siblings and peers

Mcpherson zimmerman 20022

McPherson & Zimmerman (2002)

  • Stages of self-regulation

    • Observation

      • Learning from a model

    • Emulation

      • Imitation of a model, imitation with social assistance

    • Self-control

      • Independent display of model’s skills under structured conditions

    • Self-regulation

      • Adaptive use of skill across changing personal and environmental conditions

Schmidt 2005

Schmidt (2005)

  • A parsimonious model…

  • Two-factor solution of many, many motivation constructs… …task/learning (intrinsic) and ego/performance (extrinsic)

    • Marsh et al. nearly replicated

  • Overall - mastery and intrinsic motivation were driving students’ motivation (based on ratings)

  • Subjects who were high in intrinsic motivation also reported more practicing and received higher effort ratings from their instructors

  • Similar findings with a college population…

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