Alternative Title

The Impact of Informal Music Learning on Fifth Graders


The purpose of this study was to describe qualitatively the learning processes and perceptions of music class that emerged in a fifth-grade general music setting in which informal music learning processes were the fundamental components of the pedagogical approach. Initial research questions aimed to examine the ways students perceived their previous music classroom, how they used music outside of school, how informal music learning strategies impacted them, and how they believed popular musicians learned music. Students in this action research study were 50 fifth graders in two classes. Data were collected using many ethnographic techniques including interviews, questionnaires, and video/audio recordings. The study describes how the students used informal music learning strategies to ultimately “cover” a song of their choice. Working with music in which the students were encultured seemed to foster immediate engagement and helped to create positive musical experiences, which ultimately changed many students’ perceptions of general music class. By involving the music in which students were encultured, this curriculum helped to foster their musical identify, propel autonomy, and promote social consciousness.

Degree Date

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type


Degree Name



Music Education


Dr. Julie Scott

Subject Area


Number of Pages




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License