February 2015 MTNA e-Journal

Parental Factors And Personality Traits That Predict Students’ Length Of Piano Study
By Theresa Chardos Camilli

This study determined if interrelationships existed among the following variables and which of the variables best predict length of piano study: (a) parental behavioral support, (b) parental cognitive support, (c) parental personal support, (d) parental demandingness, (e) parental responsiveness, (f) students’ extraversion, (g) students’ work drive, and (h) months of piano study. Students who studied piano for at least two years and were enrolled in private, American piano studios were sampled. Positive correlations were found between months of piano study and parental behavioral support; months of piano study and parental personal support; parental behavioral support and parental personal support; and parental behavioral support and parental cognitive support. Negative correlations were found between months of piano study and parental cognitive support; months of piano study and demanding parental style; parental personal support and demanding parenting style; and parental personal support and work drive. Positive correlations were also found between parental cognitive support and parental personal support.

Results from a simultaneous multiple regression revealed that behavioral parental support, cognitive parental support, personal parental support and parental demandingness were statistically significant predictors of length of piano study. Results are discussed within a framework applicable for piano teachers to develop intervention strategies aimed to inform parents and retain piano students. [Read More]


Students Who Quit Music Lessons: Recent Research And Recommendations For Teachers
By Alejandro M. Cremaschi, NCTM; Ksenia Ilinykh; Elizabeth Leger; and Nathan Smith

This article reviews several research studies that have focused on the phenomenon of premature music lesson attrition, and offers recommendations for teachers to prevent students from dropping out of lessons. Premature lesson dropout is a concern because students who quit lessons prematurely may not be able to experience the long-term benefits of music making. Research shows that teachers attribute lesson attrition to student’s loss of interest, heavy schedules and lack of parental support. Adults who quit lessons as children often cite dissatisfaction with the materials they studied, lack of fun, loss of interest in practicing and a low self-concept in music. Studies have found that dropouts are more likely to come from lower socioeconomic levels. They tend to have parents who are less involved in the lessons and less supportive and less demanding than continuers’ parents. They are more likely to have initiated lessons for extrinsic motives such as getting approval or being with friends. They tend to practice and achieve less in the first two months of lessons, are less aware of effective practicing strategies and less able to self-monitor their progress. They often have a lowered sense of self-efficacy and expectation of success. The article concludes with research-based suggestions for teachers to improve chances of student retention. [Read More]