Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

music learning Related Abstracts

2 Attention and Memory in the Music Learning Process in Individuals with Visual Impairments

Authors: Lana Burmistrova

Abstract:

Introduction: The influence of visual impairments on several cognitive processes used in the music learning process is an increasingly important area in special education and cognitive musicology. Many children have several visual impairments due to the refractive errors and irreversible inhibitors. However, based on the compensatory neuroplasticity and functional reorganization, congenitally blind (CB) and early blind (EB) individuals use several areas of the occipital lobe to perceive and process auditory and tactile information. CB individuals have greater memory capacity, memory reliability, and less false memory mechanisms are used while executing several tasks, they have better working memory (WM) and short-term memory (STM). Blind individuals use several strategies while executing tactile and working memory n-back tasks: verbalization strategy (mental recall), tactile strategy (tactile recall) and combined strategies. Methods and design: The aim of the pilot study was to substantiate similar tendencies while executing attention, memory and combined auditory tasks in blind and sighted individuals constructed for this study, and to investigate attention, memory and combined mechanisms used in the music learning process. For this study eight (n=8) blind and eight (n=8) sighted individuals aged 13-20 were chosen. All respondents had more than five years music performance and music learning experience. In the attention task, all respondents had to identify pitch changes in tonal and randomized melodic pairs. The memory task was based on the mismatch negativity (MMN) proportion theory: 80 percent standard (not changed) and 20 percent deviant (changed) stimuli (sequences). Every sequence was named (na-na, ra-ra, za-za) and several items (pencil, spoon, tealight) were assigned for each sequence. Respondents had to recall the sequences, to associate them with the item and to detect possible changes. While executing the combined task, all respondents had to focus attention on the pitch changes and had to detect and describe these during the recall. Results and conclusion: The results support specific features in CB and EB, and similarities between late blind (LB) and sighted individuals. While executing attention and memory tasks, it was possible to observe the tendency in CB and EB by using more precise execution tactics and usage of more advanced periodic memory, while focusing on auditory and tactile stimuli. While executing memory and combined tasks, CB and EB individuals used passive working memory to recall standard sequences, active working memory to recall deviant sequences and combined strategies. Based on the observation results, assessment of blind respondents and recording specifics, following attention and memory correlations were identified: reflective attention and STM, reflective attention and periodic memory, auditory attention and WM, tactile attention and WM, auditory tactile attention and STM. The results and the summary of findings highlight the attention and memory features used in the music learning process in the context of blindness, and the tendency of the several attention and memory types correlated based on the task, strategy and individual features.

Keywords: Attention, Strategy, Memory, blindness, music learning

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1 Characterization of the Music Admission Requirements and Evaluation of the Relationship among Motivation and Performance Achievement

Authors: Antonio M. Oliveira, Patricia Oliveira-Silva, Jose Matias Alves, Gary McPherson

Abstract:

The music teaching is oriented towards offering formal music training. Due to its specificities, this vocational program starts at a very young age. Although provided by the State, the offer is limited to 6 schools throughout the country, which means that the vacancies for prospective students are very limited every year. It is therefore crucial that these vacancies be taken by especially motivated children grown within households that offer the ideal setting for success. Some of the instruments used to evaluate musical performance are highly sensitive to specific previous training, what represents a severe validity problem for testing children who have had restricted opportunities for formal training. Moreover, these practices may be unfair because, for instance, they may not reflect the candidates’ music aptitudes. Based on what constitutes a prerequisite for making an excellent music student, researchers in this field have long argued that motivation, task commitment, and parents’ support are as important as ability. Thus, the aim of this study is: (1) to prepare an inventory of admission requirements in Australia, Portugal and Ireland; (2) to examine whether the candidates to music conservatories and parents’ level of motivation, assessed at three evaluation points (i.e., admission, at the end of the first year, and at the end of the second year), correlates positively with the candidates’ progress in learning a musical instrument (i.e., whether motivation at the admission may predict student musicianship); (3) an adaptation of an existing instrument to assess the motivation (i.e., to adapt the items to the music setting, focusing on the motivation for playing a musical instrument). The inclusion criteria are: only children registered in the administrative services to be evaluated for entrance to the conservatory will be accepted for this study. The expected number of participants is fifty (5-6 years old) in all the three frequency schemes: integrated, articulated and supplementary. Revisiting musical admission procedures is of particular importance and relevance to musical education because this debate may bring guidance and assistance about the needed improvement to make the process of admission fairer and more transparent.

Keywords: student’s motivation, music learning, music admission requirements, parent’s motivation

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