Students' motivation to study music: Israel

Adena Portowitz, Patricia A. González-Moreno, Karin S. Hendricks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


As a part of a larger international mapping exercise to examine students' motivation to study music as compared to other school subjects, this article reports data drawn from a sample of 2257 Israeli students (primary to high school). Questionnaires were based on the expectancy-value theoretical framework by examining students' perceptions of values, competence and task difficulty. Mixed-design ANOVAs were used to examine differences in students' motivational beliefs across school levels, between music and non-music learners, and between girls and boys. Results of the analyses showed two major issues distinctive from the comparison of the eight-country analyses: (a) the lowest perceptions of task values and competence beliefs for any country among non-music learners in the upper level grades, and (b) a significant developmental increase in task difficulty for music as compared to other school subjects. In addition, the results of the Israeli data revealed that music learners attached higher values to music, art and science than non-music learners, and expressed significantly lower perceptions of difficulty for music, art and science than non-music learners. Furthermore, while music was one of the lowest-ranked subjects for in-school study, it was one of the highest-ranked subjects for out-of-school study. This suggests that music participation itself is not lacking in motivation or interest among students in Israel, but that the school system is not presently providing for the musical needs and interest of much of its youth population, in upper-level grades (middle and high school).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-184
Number of pages16
JournalResearch Studies in Music Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • competence beliefs
  • cross-cultural comparisons
  • expectancy-value theory
  • motivation
  • music education
  • school subjects
  • self-beliefs
  • task difficulty
  • values


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