Article Title

The Relationship Between Musicianship, Academic Motivation, Academic Achievement, and Self-Esteem


Background Past research suggests that students involved in music are intrinsically motivated. For example, Diaz (2010) showed that undergraduate musicians possessed high levels of academic intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is a predictor of high academic achievement as well. Additionally, past research indicates that music education is positively correlated with academic achievement and self-esteem. This study continues to investigate the relationships between musicianship and academic motivation, academic achievement, and self-esteem, but it does so using a post-secondary sample and an expanded classification system for musicianship. Methods and Procedures A survey link was emailed to all undergraduate students at a small, Christian university in the Midwest. Participants were asked to share their past music experience along with demographic information such as major, GPA, and ACT score. They also completed twenty-eight items from Vallerand’s Academic Motivation Scale (Vallerand, 1992) as well as ten items from Rosenthal’s Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenthal, 1965). Five hundred fifty-eight students completed the survey. The participants were categorized into four levels of musicianship: music majors/minors (n=40), non-music majors/minors in collegiate level music ensembles (n=216), non-music majors/minors not in collegiate level music ensembles (n=136), and non-musicians (n=164). Inferential statistics were used to compare the academic motivation, academic achievement, and self-esteem of the groups. Results Using an independent samples t-test, it was found that musicians (both music majors/minors and non-music majors/minors in collegiate level ensembles) had higher academic motivation and ACT scores than non-musicians. No other statistically significant differences were found between any other groups on academic motivation, academic achievement, and self-esteem.