Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Associate Professor John Williamson


This research examined the most significant factors which influence students' decisions to continue or discontinue their music studies from Year 8 to Year 9, in selected Western Australian Secondary Schools. The research was conducted during term 4, 2000. Results from the questionnaires were analysed and interpreted to determine the most significant factors which contribute to the discontinuation or continuation of instrumental music studies. Analysis of data examined factors as to why students continued or discontinued learning music or studying an instrument. Findings indicated that students' self-concept and music ability levels strongly influence the success or failure of a student undertaking music studies. Career choice, parental influence, parental support, peer pressure, time commitment, part-time work, teacher influence, choice of music studied and the fear of failure are the main contributors for students discontinuing their instrumental studies. Through the recognition of the most common problem areas it may be possible to assist with strategies to promote the retention rate of students in music studies. This study may assist non-music teachers to appreciate problems and help them to perceive music as part of the school program.

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