Encouraging Empirical Research: Findings from the Music Appreciation Classroom

Scott Dirkse


Empirical research can be a very useful tool for the music history pedagogue, as a collection of studies relating to the teaching of collegiate-level music appreciation classes has shown. Although the body of literature is small, the existing empirical research involving collegiate-level music appreciation classrooms provides important pedagogical findings. Studies have investigated how students’ backgrounds influence their music appreciation experience, the success of courses in increasing students’ levels of appreciation for music, and the effectiveness of particular curricular and teaching strategies in the music appreciation classroom. Findings from these studies can help music appreciation teachers make informed, research-supported choices when deciding how to structure and teach their courses. Examining these studies may also stimulate ideas for further areas of empirical research. A willingness to accept and engage in empirical research will lead to a better understanding of our students and an increased quality of teaching.              


pedagogy; appreciation; teaching; experimental; empirical; review

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ISSN 2155-109X