Regardless of the quality and breadth of their musical life in primary schools, pupils seem to like music less from the end of Year 6 to the end of Year 7.
Research findings published this week in the British Journal of Music Education suggest that the potential benefits that good quality music education can have on children may be compromised if the transition to secondary school is not supported effectively.
The study, ‘Pupil voice and attitudes to music during the transition to secondary school’, conducted by CEM researcher, Dr Dimitra Kokotsaki, is part of a larger project funded by the Nuffield Foundation aimed at sharing ideas about how the primary-secondary transition in music can be improved and enabling the professional development of teachers through the sharing of expertise.
Dr Kokotstaki’s research indicates that Year 6 pupils are enthusiastic about the opportunities of studying music in secondary school. However, these positive pupil attitudes typically felt in the first term of Year 7 are seen to decline as the year progresses.
The study highlights the importance of the music teacher in supporting pupils’ active musical involvement, providing an element of choice to the pupils and giving clear guidance to ensure progression in their learning.