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Title: Knowledge and musical ability at the end of lower secondary school
Tutor: Benvenuto, Guido
Lucisano, Pietro
Siciliani de Cumis, Nicola
Keywords: music education
standardized test
lower secondary school
Issue Date: 14-Jun-2012
Abstract: Research question. This research arises from the observation that music in Italy plays a marginal role in education, resulting in the population’s a lack of interest in the musical culture, especially classical music. The research objective is the observation and analysis of the purposes, methods and effects of music education in students leaving the lower secondary school. Methodology. In order to define the perceived curriculum and skills acquired by the students, two research tools have been developed: a questionnaire for detecting background variables and habits about practice and listening to music and a standardized test for determining knowledge and skills achieved. In order to define the curriculum that is actually implemented in the classes, another questionnaire has been proposed to teachers, regarding contents and methods for teaching music. Finally, in order to analyze the efficacy of different teaching methodologies, the response of the questionnaires (for teachers and for the students) are compared with the standardized test results (knowledge and musical ability). The survey sample consists of students attending the final year of lower secondary school in twenty-nine schools with both traditional and musical curricula, located in the Municipality of Rome: a total of 1,163 students. Main findings. analysis of data obtained from the survey, which took place in March and April 2011, confirms the hypothesis. The scores of students in music tests show a clear diversification of skills acquired by students, in relation to socio-cultural variables and family. The data shows statistically significant differences between students attending schools with musical curriculum and those ones with traditional curriculum, proving that playing a musical instrument can help to develop interest and, therefore, encourage mastery of skills that can be used outside the classrooms.
Research interests: music education
Personal skills keywords: teaching music
playing music
music education

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