Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Education


Faculty of Education

First Supervisor

Associate Professor John Williamson


This research tested the effect of using a pop/rock repertoire to teach selected music skills to lower secondary school students in a conventional school setting. Two year 9 co-educational music classes from the same school were used for the experiment. The research was conducted in an experimentally controlled environment in which one class was the experimental group, and the other class was the control group. Measurements in changes of student achievements and musical preferences were the focus at the data collecting stages. Reported research indicates that students need to be motivated for learning to occur. One approach to motivation is the incorporation of pop/rock music in programmes. However, popular music is only slowly finding its way into many school programmes because many teachers lack vital resources such as skills, appropriate repertoire material and guidance. As a consequence, many of those teachers have questioned and continue to question the value of popular music in music education. The results of this experiment were statistically analysed and interpreted to determine whether the selected pop/rock repertoire significantly increased the achievement levels of those students. The analyses indicated that students using pop/rock repertoire for learning musical concepts, significantly increased their achievement levels from the pre-test to posttest stage but that both classical and pop/rock repertoires were equally effective in increasing the achievement rate of students. All students had a higher preference for pop/rock music and a significantly lower preference for classical music.

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