Your Wish To Learn An Instrument Education Essay

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Questionnaires are usually not particularly good for exploratory or other research that requires large numbers of open-ended questions. They work best with standardized questions that you assume will be interpreted the same way by all respondents (Robson 2011 cited Saunders et al. 2012). In this research both open ended and multiple choice questions were asked the results of which are as following:

What was the main reason of your wish to learn an instrument?

A question was asked from children to know the motivator of the choice of the instrument they play. In response

Out of 30 participants 8 indicated that their parents specifically moms want them to learn this instrument. That is in line with the cultural values of Thailand in which respect of parents has greater value than personal likings.

Second natural motivator is personal liking that 6 participants agreed.

The third main reason of choosing the instrument is curiosity about instrument or willingness to achieve certain level of expertise in that particular instrument. Children want to have talent, want to play like their parents and some even want to have it as career. 5 respondents expressed their opinion in this way.

Peer pressure is next important motivator as children quoted that they want to beat their siblings, participate in lessons with friends, inspired by brother etc. 4 participants supported this variable.

Music experience and chords produced by equipment also influence liking of some particular instrument. 3 participants supported that. And last but not least media has influence on the minds of children like inspiration by TV or some famous singers. 3 children also quoted this.

Has learning an instrument been as good as you thought? Can you say why?

In response to this question 28 participants agreed that they consider learning of instrument as good as they thought. The main reason of their passion for learning is that they consider it full of fun, good for life, source of happiness and provides a medium to try something new. Only two respondents did not like learning of instruments worthwhile. The main reason of their disliking was that they found it harder than they expected.

In what ways has it not?

In contrary when the children were asked it what way the instrument is not as good as they thought, 3 illustrated that the particular instrument require a lot of practice. 2 find it difficult to play or learn ultimately making it a no fun situation for them and ultimately they lose concentration as suggested by 2 respondents.

Which of the following influences/impacted on your wish for you to learn an instrument?

Choice of instrument has multifold influences that simultaneously impacted the child's wish to learn a particular instrument. In response to above said question

15 respondents suggested that family tradition is most influential factor of child's wish to learn an instrument.

Second most dominant influence is that one of the sibling/parents of the child plays that instrument that is quoted by children by giving 13 responses for siblings and 10 for parents.

Next comes the own wish that was suggested by 10 children.

Resource availability is also an important element in instrument choice as 8 children started learning that instrument as it was only available at school.

Playing of instrument by Grandparents is also an important factor as indicated by 7 children.

Friend suggestion and availability of local teacher are least common reasons of instrument choice as mentioned by 3 children each respectively.

What does you enjoy in the lesson and why?

Children passion about music is generally based on what they enjoy in their lessons. In response to this question an array of options was retrieved from questionnaires. Most quoted reason by children was that they find it fun to learn and it provides them happiness. Other reasons are reward provided by teachers, being able to play songs they like, clapping to judge the tune, playing instrument at their own, discussion about perfecting their skills and love and affectionate given by teachers to motivate them to play seamlessly. These reasons illustrate that teacher plays a very vital role in making lesson enjoyable and practical so that they don't lack concentration and passion in their learning.

Using the scale below, how would you describe the relationship between you and your teacher:

The strong relationship between teacher and child helps pupils express their creative side of academia in constructive and productive way. To find out the relationship between teacher and student a 7 band Likert Scale was chosen to find out whether teachers has strong relationship to allow students to demonstrate their creativity. 4 Traits were chosen to decide the relationship with 7 for Friendliness and 1 for Unfriendliness, 7 for attachment and 1 for detachment, 7 for treating role as teacher and 1 for as friend and 7 for Children having its say in decision-making and 1 for teacher led decisions.

The responses from children and about the relationship are as following:

6.1 Friendliness / Unfriendly

In terms of Friendliness 14 Children respondent thought that their teacher is more friendly by giving rating "1", 6 student rate the relationship as "2" that is again friendly and 4 student gave rating of "3". 3 children were unsure and 2 consider their teachers as unfriendly.

6.2 Attachment / Detachment

For attachment and detachment, 11 students rate "1" a single student rated teacher as "2", 6 students rated it as "3" Seven students rated it as "4" and 1 student rated it as "5", one as "6" and three students did not answer this question. But considering over all we can observe that more children are attached to their teachers.

6.3 Teacher / Friend

For rating the relationship as Teacher or Friend 7 Student rate it as "1" that is closer to Friend. 7 children rated it as "3", 10 rated as "4" that is about neither positive nor negative. 1 student rated it as "5", one as "6" and three students did not answer this question. From the information received it can be inferred that mostly children are uncertain regarding the relationship that exist between them as teacher or friend. However more children consider them as "Teacher" than friend.

6.4 Teacher Dominated / Child Centered

As regards to decision making about different areas again 13 children are uncertain who rated it as "4", whereas 3 children rated it as "1" and 5 as "3". Three Children it "5" one as "6" and 2 children rated it as "7". Three respondents did not answer this question. From this data it is evident that teachers have slightly more dominance in decision making than children that is

Can you describe your music class, how teacher teach you?

In response to how children feel their music class is and how teacher teach them, 7 children said that teachers plays music to make them understand. 7 Children described class as fun. 4 students said that teacher provides them notes. Teacher also helps in pushing the voice higher. Some teacher ask students to play and tell them chord and teach them step by step and then listen what they play. However, some students find it boring so teacher sometimes tell jokes or tickle them.

Do you think teacher can make you more interesting in lesson?

In response, 22 respondents agreed whereas 8 students disagree. This proves that teacher has a very vital role in choice and passion about music.

What do hope you will achieve on this instrument?

Objectivity is a core element of education. By asking this question from children the author wanted to know whether children find music education value in their life and its purpose of not. In response 10 children suggested that by learning they want to be able to play a particular instrument. 4 children considered it as a skill set. Some children want to be famous by learning this and to make their parents proud. Some children expressed it as a medium to express their selves.

How do you practice?

Children need practice to achieve learning outcome in the instrument they want to play and practice pattern is very important in music education. On asking question about practice pattern 17 respondents suggested that they practice alone. 9 Children practice with parents sometimes and only 4 respondents practice with parents most of the time. No respondent practiced with other family members.

How does your parent support you to play at home?

As indicated from previous question the parents play a very critical role in supporting children so that they could carry on their music learning. In response to question about parent support, 5 children told that their parents ask them to practice or to play music. Some parents support morally and cheer them up in their free time. Some parents sang as they play music or teach them advance techniques like how to read melodies. However, some parents either pressurize children or never support them as indicated by 5 children.

Approximately how many hours per week did / do you practice?

In response to question 15 children told that they practice 1-2 hours, Three practice 3-4 hours, Five practice 5-6 hours, one practice 7 hours and 6 practice other than specified like convenient timings etc.

I enjoy playing homework with technique

A 7 band Likert scale was used to give more liberty in expressing their opinion. In response to this question two children "Strongly Agreed", 9 "More agreed", 10 "Agreed", 8 "No Opinion" and 1 "More Disagreed". This reflects that 21 children enjoy playing homework with techniques whereas just one disagreed.

My parent usually has to remind me to practice

In response to this question 6 children "Strongly Agreed", 5 "More agreed", 4 "Agreed", 6 "No Opinion", 3 "Disagreed", 3 "More Disagreed" and 3 "Strongly Disagreed". This reflects that 15 children think that their parents usually remind them to practice in contrast to 9 disagreed. 6 children remained indifferent.

My parent is more enthusiastic about this instrument than me

In response to this question 6 children "Strongly Agreed", 2 "More agreed", 3 "Agreed", 6 "No Opinion",5 "Disagreed", 2 "More Disagreed" and 6 "Strongly Disagreed". This reflects that 13 children are of the opinion that their parents are less passionate than them in contrast to 11 who agreed. 6 children remained indifferent.

I enjoy practice

In response to this question 10 children "Strongly Agreed", 6 "More agreed", 3 "Agreed", 6 "No Opinion", 2 "Disagreed", 1 "More Disagreed" and 2 "Strongly Disagreed". This reflects that 19 children think that they enjoy practice in contrary to 5 disagreed.

I prefer playing music with friends

In response to this question 8 children "Strongly Agreed", 2 "More agreed", 4 "Agreed", 8 "No Opinion", 2 "Disagreed", 3 "More Disagreed" and 3 "Strongly Disagreed". This reflects that 14 children think that they prefer practice with friends in contrary to 8 disagreed. But majority 8 children remained indifferent that gives a mixed effect to result.

I prefer to practice alone

In response to this question 12 children "Strongly Agreed", 5 "More agreed", 4 "Agreed", 3 "No Opinion", 3 "Disagreed", 1 "More Disagreed" and 2 "Strongly Disagreed". This reflects that majority 21 children prefer practice alone in contrast to 6 who disagreed. 3 children remained indifferent.

I would still play without my parent support

In response to this question 12 children "Strongly Agreed", 5 "More agreed", 9 "Agreed", 2 "No Opinion",1 "More Disagreed" and 1 "Strongly Disagreed". This reflects that majority 26 children are of the opinion that they shall play music even without parents support opposite to 2 who disagreed and 2 children who remained indifferent.

I enjoy the challenge of a new piece or study

Challenges and new levels of skills keep children interested. In response to this question 10 children "Strongly Agreed", 7 "More agreed", 6 "Agreed", 4 "No Opinion", 2 "Disagree" and 1 "More Disagreed". This reflects that majority 23 children are ambitious and courageous to accept challenge of new piece of study opposite to 3 who disagreed and 4 children who remained indifferent.

Ability to play an instrument is more related to effort than natural ability

In response to this question 6 children "Strongly Agreed", 10 "More agreed", 4 "Agreed", 7 "No Opinion",1 "Disagreed" and 2 "Strongly Disagreed". This reflects that majority 20 children illustrated that ability to play an instrument is more related to effort than natural ability. Only 3 disagreed with this statement and 7 children remained neutral.

4.2 Interview Study

Interview is a purposeful discussion between two or more people. (Kahn and Cannell 1957, cited Saunders et al, 2012) Interviews were conducted with participants that fit the perspective requirements, based on a purposive sampling approach. A structured interview technique was used to get the parents and teachers point of view. Facts collected from the responses are as following:

4.2.1 Parents Interview (see appendix B)

1. Parents were asked about the motivator for them that their children learn an instrument. One parent found that their child has passion for music and they consider that it could benefit other learning too. Another parent wanted it for child brain development and pleasure. Music books and child own wish also encourages parents to take their children to learn a music instrument.

2. In response to question regarding child attitude towards music teaching a parent thought that his child enjoys music and practice independently. Another parent found his child "…Enthusiastic to learn new types of instruments…." One parent found that their child has multiple skills to play instrument. However some children don't like playing instruments.

3. Motivation from parents provides a sense of self actualization to children so some parents don't push children but want them as "independent Learner". Some parents set role model for children by doing the same. A parent helps child to choose music and try and supports if child feels discouraged.

4. In response to question regarding parents support in child learning a parent make sure that children practice during the week, ask to listen to their songs as they practice, discuss the lesson and practice needs with the teacher and children. Another parent said that he practice with the child. One parent asks child to practice at least 3 times a week. Another parent takes child for additional classes and supports child by providing him required instrument by taking him for drum practice.

5. In the similar passion when the parents were asked what support they cannot offer parents mentioned that they don't have adequate knowledge about music. Some of them are even illiterate but all of them have passion and believe in their children.

6. On question regarding getting involve in practice with children parents suggested that they listen to practice and ask children to practice regularly. A parent made arrangement of making video of practice with consultation of teacher so that child could learn at home.

7. In terms of child attitude towards music parents agreed that children are positive towards music and practice at their own. As mentioned by one parents even though child doesn't like Piano but she keeps on practicing. Some children even manage it by forgoing other activities like sports.

8. Some parents encourage children to practice more and to play in a band. Some by bring children to concert and make them enjoy music. Some support children financial and with managing time.

9. Children gain emotional, musical or discipline from practice. Most parents are of the view that children learn musical and discipline traits from music that affects their overall life.

10. On asking what parents wants in a model music teacher, parents suggested that the teacher should provide knowledge, motivation and a sense of discipline. They should be Patient, know child psychology and should be able to make relation with child.

11. The parents trust those teachers which have good relations with their children. Parents look for how teachers treat their children and what are their teaching techniques.

12. On question about motivation parents advocate children about learning music benefits and career opportunities in case of being expert, some parents offer incentives to cheer up children. Some parents also helps children in time management and scheduling tasks.

4.2.2 Teachers Interview (see appendix C)

1. Teachers were asked what children find most interesting in class. Some teachers described lessons interesting as students choose lessons their selves and have questions about it but most of teachers think children take interest in songs they like and challenge of new piece.

2. To deal with not interested student some teachers recommended coercion and terror but some teachers initiated reward or stopping them to carry on so that when they feel comfortable they could join class again. Children take interest in different activities except music like sports so by change playing to singing a song or solfage or taking a break for uninterested ones the teacher can compel them to join class at will.

3. To improve the skills teacher give child to practice scale, Hanon, interval and triad or play scale with metronome and her to sing the note along playing as aural skill. Another teacher asks children to segment the lesson and practice in parts. One teacher thinks that as drum can control the rhythm because it is the main instrument to control the band, it is transform of conductor.

4. Multiple techniques are used by teachers according to instrument and student requirement. Some lecture, play music and then ask children to practice and correct their mistakes, some do it practically without theory and some sing along with playing. A teacher inspired by the concept of "muscle memory" use technique of counting the beat, have endured in practice lesson.

5. In effectiveness of their teaching style teacher think that their styles are appropriate and meets children requirement. A teacher thinks that "It is slowly improve at the beginning but almost the end they will fast develop".

6. When the teachers were asked whether they ask parents for support they tend to no suggestion until ask by parents. When asked by parents they ask them to attach with children by involving in practice and in persuasion for practice. A Teacher illustrated "I tell the parent just be steady, clam and endure. If parent do complain why their child are not get too much skill, I will them about me what I have done before why I can be a teacher. Sometime, I will compare with the athlete".

7. Teachers according to age of class make lessons easier so that they could concentrate like one teacher counts and plays for young children and writing the note and opening the metronome together with count the beat for teenagers. Another teacher use books of specific age ranges so that they could not lose interest. Another teacher uses easier songs as per age of children.

8. To create interest 2 teacher mentioned force to motivate student to learn. But one teacher used easier songs for young and YouTube videos for teenagers and another asked students to find the music they like and practice. This reflects a diversified methodology skewed to extremes.

9. Teachers believe in gradual progression of their students by taking exams like "Trinity Guildhal", making videos to compare and correct mistakes, sending them to play in concerts etc. As one teacher quoted:

"I always let their songs chosen by their own. It is the best way they will finish lesson happily".

10. To make children work harder a teacher uses rewards, another suggested that he uses challenge for teenagers to do better and give them 3 choices out of which 1 match their skills, some give relaxation and breaks and some beat but keep the relationship of sibling.

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