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Institutional Culture and Learning II: Inter-relationships between perceptions of the learning environment and undergraduate musicians' attitudes to performance

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Publication details

JournalMusic education research
DatePublished - Dec 2010
Issue number4
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)427-446
Original languageEnglish


This paper, following on from our previous paper focusing on findings regarding students’ approaches to learning, explores students’ approaches to performance with particular focus on musical self-efficacy beliefs and experiences of performance anxiety in solo and group performances. The research design included a large questionnaire survey followed up by 13 case study interviews and six focus groups. Survey participants were 170 undergraduate musicians studying in three distinctively different higher education institutions, encompassing classical, popular, jazz and Scottish traditional music genres. Findings suggest that the context of music performance learning and the prevailing institutional culture relate to students’ approaches to performance. By statistically controlling for gender and genre biases across the three institutions, we were able to observe both similarities and differences between students’ self-reported self-efficacy beliefs, as well as experiences, perceived causes and strategies used to cope with performance anxiety. Implications of findings from the two ‘institutional culture and learning’ papers for learners and educators in higher education are discussed.

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