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This version of the article reflects changes made in the paperback edition [9780190674625].

Updated on 11 December 2019. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores the processes underlying learning to play an instrument. The processes underpinning the learning of a musical instrument require time, effort, and commitment, although the extent to which these are needed depends on the nature of the music itself and the particular cultural traditions that pertain in relation to its creation and performance. Widening participation in instrumental learning means that most learners will engage with music-making in the longer term as a recreational activity either through amateur music-making or as listeners. What they need to develop as a result of their learning is a love of music and the meta-cognitive skills that will support them throughout their lifetimes in whatever musical activities they choose to pursue. To reflect these changes, music educators need to consider what their curricular priorities should be. Learning is most enjoyable when what is to be learned is challenging (not too easy or too difficult) and there is a sense of achievement when it has been mastered.

Keywords: musical instruments, music learning, music education, music-making

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