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Abstract: Rates of music participation are low in developed nations. This may be attributed in part to the failure of school music to engage children sufficiently to motivate them to continue learning and participating in music. We tested the Harmonix program of classroom music education, which is designed to maximize engagement in music learning. The program employs a set of new, harmonically tuned percussion instruments, using cyclical, self-cuing patterns, and hierarchical rhythmic structures that match complexity with ability. Graphical scores reduce cognitive load, and assist students to compose music from the first class. Cooperative learning activities consolidate learning and further stimulate engagement through personal and group expression. Using a combination of timely self-report and objective measurement, we found that student learning and skill acquisition increased over the six-week program while high engagement was maintained. Engagement measures also increased within each session. Over the six weeks of the program no significant changes were observed in attitudes toward music.

To cite this article: Richmond, James; McLachlan, Neil; Ainley, Mary and Osbourne, Margaret. Engagement and skill development in a new approach to learning music [online]. In: Redefining the musical landscape: Inspired learning and innovation in music education - XIX National Conference Proceedings. Parkville, Vic.: Australian Society for Music Education, 2013: 157-164. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=717278784133623;res=IELHSS> ISBN: 9780980379235. [cited 26 Jun 16].

Personal Author: Richmond, James; McLachlan, Neil; Ainley, Mary; Osbourne, Margaret; Source: In: Redefining the musical landscape: Inspired learning and innovation in music education - XIX National Conference Proceedings. Parkville, Vic.: Australian Society for Music Education, 2013: 157-164. Document Type: Conference Paper ISBN: 9780980379235 Subject: Music--Instruction and study--Activity programs; Group work in education; Musical instruments--Instruction and study; Intrinsic motivation; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) The University of Melbourne
(2) The University of Melbourne
(3) The University of Melbourne
(4) The University of Melbourne

Database: Humanities & Social Sciences Collection