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Getting to the Heart of Why Students Struggle: Motivation in Conservatory Music Students

Paper Presentation
25 August 2021
09:00 - 09:30 hrs (GMT+7)

It is not an uncommon scenario in music conservatories that students are proficient instrumentalists but fare poorly in aural skills, theory and music history. Hence, three faculty members, Karst De Jong, Chen Zhangyi and Khoo Hui Ling, at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (YST) designed a nine-week programme to provide extra help to such students.

We selected students who had low grades and high levels of absences in a first-year theory support class, and conducted a nine-week project for them. This project was open and optional for all other students too. During these nine weeks, students learned about their personality and learning styles through tests, and designed a personal project to tackle their weaknesses. The process was mentored by faculty through individual advising sessions.

It was found that these students faced issues that affected their motivation to excel in various areas of their studies. This reflective paper describes this nine-week study program and offers possible solutions for motivational issues faced by music students at YST.

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