Exploring the unmeasurable: Valuing the long-term impacts of primary music education

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Abstract

This study aims to explore the long-term impacts of primary music education in a progressive school in Tokyo where cooperative learning, democratic decision making, and mutual sharing of interests and purposes by students form the pedagogical basis. Establishing a causal relationship between music learning and its impact in later life is a challenging task, due to many confounding factors. Rather than looking for measurable effects, this study draws on students’ retrospective self-accounts. Although the latter may be viewed as less reliable, it possesses the benefit of allowing the students to assess what they consider to be the true value of their education. Positing that retrospective accounts can form the focus of a long-term impact study, this research targeted former sixth-grade students who became university students ten years later. While at primary school, they were actively involved in music making. A decade on, they were asked to reflect on their primary school music learning experiences. Based on their, and their teachers’, self-accounts, the research explored what they had learned in their music classes and how they valued their learning experiences. Copyright © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-27
JournalMusic Education Research
Volume23
Issue number1
Early online date02 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Citation

Matsunobu, K. (2021). Exploring the unmeasurable: Valuing the long-term impacts of primary music education. Music Education Research, 23(1), 14-27. doi: 10.1080/14613808.2020.1834524

Keywords

  • Long-term impact
  • Longitudinal case study
  • Impact study
  • Valuation process
  • Progressive school

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