A study of students’ perceptions of parental influence on students’ musical instrument learning in Beijing, China

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Abstract

With particular reference to Beijing, China, this study adopts mixed-method research to focus on Grades Seven to Nine students’ perceptions of how parental cultural capital and support influence their musical instrument learning. Framed by Bourdieu’s theory of cultural capital, two research questions are addressed in this article: (1) How do students perceive the impact of parental support on their instrument learning? (2) What roles do parental capital and support play in facilitating students’ cultivation of musical knowledge? Based on 1672 completed questionnaires and 15 individual interviews from musical instrument learners, this study found that parental cultural capital enhanced the frequency and strategies of the parental support offered for students’ instrument learning, and may in turn enhance students’ motivation for instrument learning; and that parental cultural capital predicted their financial support for students’ instrumental learning. Most students in the study perceived their parents as providing support and strict parental control as facilitating their instrument learning. The study lends the support to Bourdieu’s theory on the intergenerational transmission of cultural capital, in terms of musical instrument learning. This study also implies that collaboration with musical instrument tutors could benefit parents who lack musical knowledge to support their children’s learning. Copyright © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-299
JournalMusic Education Research
Volume23
Issue number3
Early online dateOct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Citation

Kong, S. H. (2021). A study of students’ perceptions of parental influence on students’ musical instrument learning in Beijing, China. Music Education Research, 23(3), 287-299. doi: 10.1080/14613808.2020.1832978

Keywords

  • Beijing
  • Cultural capital
  • Musical instrument learning
  • Parental influences
  • Secondary school student

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