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Musical abilities in middle childhood: intra-personal, social and temporal contexts

Shepherd, Rebecca Helen 2006. Musical abilities in middle childhood: intra-personal, social and temporal contexts. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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The aim of this research was to examine relationships between musical abilities and general intelligence, initially using Gardner's (1983) theory of multiple intelligences, which contend that they are separate. The intra-personal and social contexts of musical ability were then investigated to clarify whether immediate contacts operated distinctly from those in wider contexts. Finally, using Dickens and Flynn's (2001) theory of intelligence, the temporal context of musical ability was examined to see if musical abilities can be self-enhancing. The research sites used were nine schools in England and Wales, representative of different social strata and musical specialisation, including state primary, choir and independent schools, from which 433 pupils, aged 7-11 (middle childhood) took part. Measures used were the Bentley (1966a) Measures of Musical Ability, Heim and Simmonds' (1974) Group Tests of General Reasoning, National Foundation for Educational Research Tests in English and Mathematics (1994a, 1994b) and Bellin and Rees' (2004) adaptation of Harter's (1988) self-perception scales for self-concept. A musical experience questionnaire was also devised. It was found that musical ability and general intelligence are not separate intelligences in the way that Gardner's multiple intelligences theory would suggest. The closeness of the relationship between musical ability and general intelligence justified applying notions from Dickens and Flynn's (2001) theory of intelligence to musical ability. Relationships between musical abilities and self- concept concerned the sense of academic competence in non-specialist as well as specialist schools. Historic changes such as music in the curriculum seem to have boosted musical abilities in middle childhood in state, specialist and independent schools. The most powerful influence appeared to be learning to play a musical instrument. However, contrary to assumptions of multiplying effects of social influences, musical abilities do not appear to be self enhancing

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
ISBN: 9781303205330
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2014 12:17

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