A Q study of music teachers' attitudes towards the significance of individual differences for teaching and learning in music

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Classroom teachers' beliefs and attitudes regarding the role and significance of individual differences have received relatively little attention in the literature to date, notwithstanding the well-documented importance both of teachers' beliefs and factors of individual difference for the learning and teaching process. The purpose of this study was to explore the belief patterns of a small group (N = 8) of Scottish secondary school classroom music teachers in relation to the significance of 10 factors of individual difference among pupils for learning and teaching in music within the curriculum. Participants completed two Q-sorts, one relating to teaching approaches in music and one to attainment in musical tasks. Both sorts used an identical set of items. Results suggest that a small number of 'typical' belief patterns could be identified in each of the two contexts, and that the focus of study makes future development of this investigation appropriate. It appears that some music teachers may focus more on perceived strengths amongst their pupils while others concentrate instead on areas of weaknesses. The implications for practice in music education of these positions are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-80
Number of pages17
JournalPsychology of Music
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • beliefs
  • education
  • expressive arts
  • secondary
  • music psychology
  • educational psychology

Cite this