Research on motivation in music seeks to understand how children develop the desire to pursue the study of a musical instrument, how they come to value learning to play an instrument, why they vary in the degree of persistence and the intensity they display in achieving their musical goals, and how they evaluate and attribute their success and failure in different achievement contexts. Current theories view motivation as an integral part of learning that assists students in acquiring the range of adaptive behaviors that will provide them with the best chance of achieving their own personal goals. This chapter begins with a review of key theories and research that can help musicians understand the complex nature of motivation as it applies to music performance achievement. It then discusses teaching strategies that can be used to help music students establish and sustain positive motivation as they work toward achieving their goals.
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