Music Education Research in Australia 2010-11

By Stevens, Robin | Australian Journal of Music Education, July 2011 | Go to article overview

Music Education Research in Australia 2010-11


Stevens, Robin, Australian Journal of Music Education


The 2011 update of the BAMER (Bibliography of Australian Music Education Research) database has recently been published on the 'Australian Music Education Information and Resources' website at . The 'Australian Music Education Information and Resources' website also hosts other online resources including 'History of Australian Music Education' and 'The Curwen Method' which may be of interest to music education researchers.

As outlined in last year's report, the BAMER website includes a downloadable EndNote X3 library (as a zip file) of all entires in the BAMER database as well as downloadable EndNote 'output' styles. As many Australian universities now have an EndNoteX3 user license available to staff and students, the BAMER database should be accessible in this format to most music education researchers and postgraduate research students. The BAMER EndNoteX3 library is fully searchable and, together with the Australia and New Zealand Postgraduate Music Research Thesis Register's 'Education and Pedagogy' listing at and other online databases, should be useful to both beginning and more established music education researchers undertaking literature reviews for their investigations.

The number of completed research studies in the BAMER database is currently 507. Additions to the database since the last report are listed below in 'Recently Completed Post-Graduate Research Studies in Music Education.

Researchers who have recently commenced or completed a post-graduate research study in music education and who have not yet registered their projects with BAMER are asked to do so using the online submission form on the BAMER home page at . Any research news--such as successful grant applications, conference information or other announcements--should be submitted for publication in the annual review of music education research in Australia in AJME. Please send any such information to the Research Editor (Robin Stevens) at .

Recently Completed Post-Graduate Research Studies in Music Education

Bowden, Julia (2011). The Intermediate Piano Student: An Investigation of the Impact of Learning Material on Motivation. MMus thesis, James Cook University, Queensland (172 pp).

Summary: The intermediate piano student is difficult to define, as the term 'intermediate' is ambiguous, meaning that the student is neither beginner nor advanced. The literature provides minimal guidance in terms of how to define an intermediate student, however the general consensus is that the student is defined by his or her skill set and the repertoire being played. At the beginning level, there are many texts, methods and articles that assist both the teacher and the student in learning; however, there is less support in terms of pedagogical guides and resources for the intermediate student and significantly, minimal research on how these influence motivation.

In order to better define the intermediate piano student and what motivates the student, a mixed-methods study was conducted with key stakeholders. Qualitative data was collected through interviews with intermediate piano teachers and students, authors of method books, heads of external examination bodies, contemporary composers and authors of literature guides. In order to examine the issues further, quantitative data was collected through an internet survey which was completed by over 500 teachers from a range of countries. Each stakeholder who participated in the study was asked to define a beginner, intermediate and advanced student and what factors they thought motivated intermediate students. Issues of learning programs were also covered with the teachers and students.

The interviews and survey confirm that there is a significant relationship between learning programs and motivation. …

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